Downing Street was criticised for the error by politicians in Northern Ireland as well as the Labour Party.
A Labour source told The Telegraph: “It’s always hard to know with the Tories if they’re too incompetent to check what they’re saying and doing, or too ignorant to know that it’s wrong.
“Either way, it is doing a grave disservice to the people of Northern Ireland to have people at the heart of our government who understand so little about these kind of issues.”
‘These people don’t understand us’
Doug Beattie, the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, told the BBC: “There are people out there who want to hand all of the devolved power we have back to Westminster, and here is what Westminster is doing.
“They got rid of our levelling up funding, they brought us the Northern Ireland Protocol, they brought us the Windsor Framework, and now they’re firing out things on Instagram where they are using the wrong flag.
“These people don’t understand us, they don’t know us. We are better served with devolved government.”
Northern Ireland was not awarded any funding in the latest round of local handouts by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLHUC), despite receiving £120 million in the previous two rounds.
DLUHC said that while it would “continue to work closely” with previous funding executives, the Government is “not proceeding” with any additional funding in Northern Ireland in the absence of a functioning executive.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has boycotted Stormont since early 2022 over post-Brexit trade rules for the region.
It was hoped that the Windsor Framework deal struck with Brussels by Rishi Sunak earlier this year would end the deadlock, but the DUP was dissatisfied with Mr Sunak’s renegotiation and has continued to stay away.
Northern Irish dancers were seen performing outside 10 Downing Street alongside a live band before the reception in a video posted to Twitter by Steve Baker, the Northern Ireland Office minister.
“Fabulous to have Northern Irish culture celebrated in Downing Street tonight,” Mr Baker said.