OTTAWA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- A flag mix-up during the Belgian royal family's visit to Canada almost led to an awkward moment on Monday, as a German flag was first placed on a tree planted by Belgium's Queen Fabiola in 1977 before being quickly replaced with the Belgian one.
It's the first visit of the Belgian royal family to the North American country in over 40 years.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde received an official welcome at the residence of Canadian Governor General Julie Payette, who represents Canada's head of state, Queen Elizabeth II. The royal pair were set to plant a new sapling next to the special tree planted four decades ago, on the grounds of the residence.
But the flag marking the tree wasn't the right one. It was a German flag.
Both flags feature black, red and yellow stripes, but the Belgian flag's stripes are vertical, while Germany's are horizontal, and in a different order.
The mix-up was fortunately noticed prior to the royal pair's arrival at the tree planting and the correct flag was placed on the tree just in time.
The error was first spotted by Belgian journalist Wim Dehandschutter, who posted on Twitter about the mistake.
"They are the same colors so maybe that's the reason why, and we have very close relations with Germany so it's not a real problem," Didier Reynders, the Belgian foreign minister, was quoted by Canadian CBC news as saying.