Macron: French flag will not be replaced by Euro stars

Macron has denied claims by the FN that he wants to replace the French flag with the EU one

President Emmanuel Macron has hit back at claims from the Front National party that he wants to replace the French tricolore flag with the European one.

The claims, made by the Front National party, came after Macron announced on October 19 that France would be officially “recognising” the EU flag, and other EU symbols, reported French news source 20 Minutes.

A tweet, from the official FN account, read: “In violation of the constitution, Macron wants to replace our national emblems. We believe in France, and we affirm our unwavering attachment to the tricolore flag and The Marseillaise [national anthem].”

The FN also created a petition, named “I defend my flag!”, against the plans.

Macron has denied the claims, in both a Tweet and a statement, saying that the recognition of the European flag and other markers is merely symbolic.

In publicly stating support for the symbols, France joins 16 other countries to do so, since the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007.

As well as the blue-and-yellow-star flag, EU symbols also include the anthem Ode to Joy by Beethoven; Europe Day (May 9); the Euro currency; and the slogan “United in Diversity”.

“This is above all a political and symbolic gesture,” read a statement from the Elysée Palace. “In this way, France is confirming our attachment to European symbols; not only the flag, but also the anthem, and Europe Day.”

According to conditions set out in a 1963 decree, it is legal to display the EU flag on public buildings in France, as long as it is joined by the French tricolore flag too, the latter of which must appear on the left side of the EU flag. The French flag should take pride of place.

Any schools wishing to display flags must use both.

The president has regularly shown his support for European symbols, having played Ode to Joy on the night of his election; as well as regularly posing with European and French flags, especially in his official portrait (although his predecessors François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy did the same).

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