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France's first controversy averted: raising the European flag from the Arc de Triomphe

France’s first controversy averted: raising the European flag from the Arc de Triomphe

An uproar among right-wing politicians at the sight of the European flag under the Arc de Triomphe. But now that the flag has been removed, calm can return.

Just under three days. This is how long the European flag flew under the arch of the Arc de Triomphe. With the New Year coming, France takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Slovenia. To emphasize this important function, the blue showed the stars under the ark – without the French tricolor.

He found a European flag under one of the symbols of France really hard to digest. “An attack on our nation’s identity,” said Marine Le Pen, head of the National Rally. Valerie Brissis, the presidential candidate for the Republic, tweeted that French identity had been erased. Finally, far-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour spoke of “outrage” on his part.

Clement Bonn, France’s Minister of State for European Affairs, confirmed that the flag would only remain there for “a few days”. After that, the French flag will return. It is not clear whether the Elysee expedited the process under pressure from the far right. That doesn’t change the fact that Le Pen calls it a “national victory” on Twitter. The European blue light on the facade will continue to shine for some time.

In April there are presidential elections in France. For pro-European President Emmanuel Macron, the French presidency is thus a useful vehicle in his campaign for re-election.