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Donald Trump

After Trump colours in US flag wrong, five other high-profile gaffes from leaders and public figures

From one of Bush’s worst Bushisms to Putin’s misguided act of chivalry, we look at five big-time gaffes in the wake of the Twitter photo showing Trump adding a blue stripe to the US flag

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 August, 2018, 5:48pm
UPDATED : Monday, 27 August, 2018, 5:55pm

US President Donald Trump set the internet abuzz (again) after he made a mistake colouring in the US flag with a group of children.

Trump, who was taking part in a colouring-in activity with kids at a hospital in Ohio, looks like he has added an extra blue stripe in pictures inadvertently shared by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.

The US flag comprises 13 red and white stripes and a blue rectangle in one corner filled with 50 white stars – one for every state.

Twitter users were quick to point out that it looked more like the Russian flag, which is made up of three horizontal layers of white, blue and red.

With Trump’s gaffe list continuing to grow, we look back at five other major gaffes from leaders and public figures.

Prince Philip

In May 1999, Britain’s gaffe-prone Duke of Edinburgh felt the heat from the British Deaf Association after he offended a group of young deaf people with an “insensitive” remark.

Prince Philip joked that the youngsters had been deafened by standing too close to a steel band playing Caribbean music at a celebration in Wales.

Pointing to the loudspeakers, the duke said: “Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf,” before walking away.

George W. Bush

Former US president George W. Bush made so many gaffes during his presidency that he had his own category: Bushisms. But it was his actions that raised eyebrows when he gave Germany’s leader Angela Merkel a back rub at the 2006 G8 summit in St Petersburg.

In the short video that went viral, Merkel reacts with horror, throwing her arms in the air.

The five-second video clip was mixed to a rap by the US hip-hop artist Ludacris: “You don’t know me like that,” said the chorus.

Vladimir Putin

Russian president Vladimir Putin found himself in hot water for his act of chivalry during the opening ceremony of the Apec summit at a Beijing stadium in November 2014.

Assuming that Peng Liyuan, the Chinese president’s wife, was cold, Putin slipped a shawl over her shoulders. The video was censored hours after circulating on China’s social media.

Dan Quayle

In 1992, then US Vice-President Dan Quayle had a major case of foot-in-mouth disease while leading a spelling bee for sixth-grade students in New Jersey.

Working from an inaccurate flash card prepared by a teacher, he corrected William Figueroa, 12, when the child spelt “potato” on the blackboard – making the boy add an unnecessary “e” at the word’s end.

Donald Trump

Let’s finish with the man who can fill a book with gaffes. But this one in July 2016 stands out.

“If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably – maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”

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Trump made the comments during an ABC News interview, referring to Khizr Khan and his wife Ghazala, parents of a Muslim US soldier killed in Iraq.