Trop bleu pour vous?

I know we’ve all been a little pre-occupied recently, but did anyone notice the French Flag changed last year?

In a way, it’s not a massive difference – the blue has darkened into navy. The flag is now in line with how it appeared after the French revolution, plus the version that flies from the Arc de Triomphe on 11 November (Armistice Day).

The blue of the French flag was changed in 1976 by President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing to match ‘Marian Blue’ – the background colour of the European Union. He decided to lighten the colour of the French flag, to avoid a clash of blues between the French and European flags. 

In July 2020, Emmanuel Macron’s office changed it back, feeling the darker shade was “more elegant” and would “reconnect with a symbol of the French Revolution”. 

Others have read more into the switch, seeing it as a symbol of strained relations between France and Europe. 

What do you think – is it ‘une tempête dans un verre d’eau’? *

* Translation: A storm in a teacup.

European flag and the French flag (1976-June 2020)
French Flag
French flag after July 2020

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