Smithsonian #SIshowdown Twitter War Gets Heated Over Bao Bao

There's a fierce battle raging on social media, and it's pandas versus flags.

The Smithsonian American History Museum has been taking cheeky potshots on Twitter at The National Zoo and its famed panda cub, Bao Bao.

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The Smithsonian Institution asked Twitter users to tweet about their favorite object at any Smithsonian Institution using the hashtag #SIshowdown. The four winning institutions will participate in a Twitter town hall debate Aug. 18.

But things quickly got snarky. There were lighthearted jabs, such as the Smithsonian Archives tweeting: "That awkward moment when u tell the museums they wouldn’t exist w/out u," but when Bao Bao and the Star-Spangled Banner flag emerged as two frontrunners, the gloves came off.

It wasn't long before the National Portrait Gallery took sides and formed an alliance with the American History Museum.

 Of course, the National Zoo fought back.

Check out some more of the sassy Smithsonian tweets below.

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