PARIS: France President Emmanuel Macron has ordered a change to the colour of French flag to find the echoes of heroism in country’s past. Reports said the keen-eyed observers could easily see that the French red-white-and-blue tricolour flag flying above the Elysee Palace and also placed behind Macron at the news conferences and speeches now has slightly a darker navy blue colour rather than the previous bright blue.
The navy blue colour marks a return to the tradition -- it had been the then president Valery Giscard d´Estaing, who switched into the brighter blue in 1976, so that it matched with the colour of the European flag, which displayed yellow stars on a blue background.
The change had been made on the flags placed behind Macron at speeches from 2018 and then on those flying from the Elysee and other presidential buildings from 2020, a presidential official, who asked not to be named, told AFP on Monday. The official said the navy blue colour “evokes the memory” of the heroes, who fought in the French Revolution, the trenches of World War-I and in the resistance during World War-II. The change has finally been noticed after being revealed in a book “Elysee Confidential,” published this Autumn by journalists, Eliot Blondet and Paul Larrouturou.
They reported that the initiative came from the head of operations at the Elysee Arnaud Jolens, whom the journalists interviewed for their book. The change cost a symbolic 5,000 euros. “Giscard changed this blue for aesthetic reasons during integration with Europe, but the flag that all the presidents took along with them ever since was not the real French flag,” Jolens is quoted as saying. The Elysee official also pointed out that the flag on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris had always had the navy blue. France, on January 1, takes on the rotating EU presidency under Macron, a pro-European, while he faces re-election battle in April.— AFP