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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

French President Macron has changed the flag. Can you spot the difference?

The change, which took effect officially about a year ago, appears to have gone unnoticed until recently.

By: Express Web Desk |
Updated: November 16, 2021 5:14:23 pm
An image of the current French flag shared by Elysée Palace on their official website.

French President Emmanuel Macron has changed the colour of the national flag to revert it to its post-French revolution form, according to news reports.

The change, which took effect officially about a year ago, appears to have gone unnoticed until recently. In fact, an official told news agency AFP that Macron has been using the changed flag as a backdrop for his speeches as early as 2018.

The French tricolour comprises of vertical bands of blue, white and red. The current change is reflected in the shade of the blue — it has been changed to a navy blue colour instead of the lighter version that was in place for over four decades now.

“The President of the Republic (Emmanuel Macron) has chosen for the tricolour flags that adorn the Élysée Palace the navy blue that evokes the imagination of the Volunteers of Year II, the Poilus of 1914 and the Compagnons de la Libération of Free France,” the Presidency said, according to an AFP report.

“It is also the blue of the flag that has always flown under the Arc de Triomphe every (Armistice Day) 11 November,” it added.

The French state started using the lighter shade of blue in its flag following the French revolution in 1970s. The lighter shade, termed Marian Blue (bleu marine), closely resembles the shade of the European Union flag. It has been speculated that Macron’s decision to change the shade is an indicator of a growing rift between France and the EU.

However, presidential aides have pushed back against this line of thought. “There is no ‘blue war’, it’s nonsense,” the Guardian reported the aides as saying.

France is set to assumed the presidency of the European Union from January 2022. The rotating position will remain with the French government for six months.

The change, while interesting, does not require significant political or legislative maneuvering. The French navy has been using the navy blue version of the tricolour since 18th century. Flags of both shades are widely used, according to news reports.

Financially, Macron’s move to replace the flags at his official residence in Elysée Palace and other presidential buildings will cost a token €5,000, according to Arnaud Jolens, the Elysée’s director of operations.

The French presidential elections are scheduled for April 2022. Macron, a pro-EU leader, is up for re-election, and is expected to face tough challenges from several sides, including right-winger Marine Le Pen.

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