A pro-establishment rally on Oct. 25, 2020 in Bang Klum, Songkhla.

SONGKHLA — A tropical climate rich in wildlife next to the ocean with a vibrant culture with love for football and beauty pageants – wait, are we talking about Thailand or Costa Rica?

An ultraroyalist group in Songkhla was similarly confused, as seen from photos of tier rally in southern Thailand using the Costa Rican flag instead of a Thai flag that went viral over the past week. 

“I have been informed of the incident,” Songkhla governor Jaruwat Klaengkla said Wednesday. “Bang Klum district told me that the event was held by citizen groups to show their loyalty. The citizens held the event completely on their own.”

Jaruwat said that Bang Klum district chief Surat Laijun has sent him a report on the incident, which he will forward to the Ministry of the Interior. 

The rally was held Sunday in Bang Klam district, one of the royalist counter-protests where typically the older generation come out to show their support for the monarchy, in light of the ongoing pro-democracy protests. 

Bang Klum district’s public relations Facebook page posted photos of the rally, but deleted them after backlash about the use of a flag of a country more than 17,000 kilometers away. 

“Bang Klum residents bind together to protect the nation, religion, and monarchy,” reads the yellow sign with a Costa Rica banner flag above it. 

Costa Rica is a presidential republic known for Central America’s most stable democracy and one of the most economically prosperous. Catholicism and Protestantism are the country’s main religions. The country does not have a monarchy – or a standing army, abolished in 1949.

A pro-establishment rally on Oct. 25, 2020 in Bang Klum, Songkhla.