Who knew the War of 1812 could inflame passions in the age of Twitter?
The British Embassy in Washington has apologized after tweeting a photo marking the 200th anniversary of British troops burning the White House on August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812.
Commemorating the 200th anniversary of burning the White House. Only sparklers this time! pic.twitter.com/QIDBQTBmmL— British Embassy (@UKinUSA) August 24, 2014
The photo shows a cake featuring the White House, a few sparklers and the Stars and Stripes and Union Jack. Included in the caption: "Only sparklers this time!"
Not everyone was amused.
One person said on Twitter found the post "in extremely POOR TASTE." Another asked: "What the hell? A commemoration?"
Whereupon the right honorable Embassy sought to make amends. It published a "we're sorry" tweet noting that it "meant to mark an event in history & celebrate our strong friendship today." It also linked to a Huffington Post piece by Patrick Davies, its deputy ambassador to the United States.
He noted that the countries are "closer today than ever," the redcoats' torching of the White House 200 years ago notwithstanding.
"Far from fighting each other, our soldiers, sailors and airmen train together, deploy together and recuperate together," he wrote.
"Needless to say, we've put the events of August 1814 far behind us."
Apologies for earlier Tweet. We meant to mark an event in history & celebrate our strong friendship today http://t.co/gs3heJDMzt— British Embassy (@UKinUSA) August 25, 2014