French conservatives are angry over the EU flag replacing the French flag at the Arc de Triomphe

Standards for replacing the French flag on New Year’s Day European Union Before the crucial national elections this spring, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris may have handed a powerful symbolic question to the French conservatives.

The government of centrist President Emmanuel Macron installed the giant blue A generation The flag in front of the iconic French soldier’s memorial marks the beginning of the country’s six-month term as the rotating chairman of the European Union Executive Committee.

The flag was lowered on Sunday, but before that, leading conservatives and nationalists criticized the gesture as an insult to national pride and the sacrifice of French veterans.

“European President-yes. Erase French identity-no,” conservative Republican candidate Valerie Pecresse (Valerie Pecresse) may become Macron’s second five-year campaign in recent months The biggest challenger of the tenure.

For Mr. Macron, this incident may be particularly sensitive politically. He has turned to the right in order to create a favorable political environment for him before the two rounds of elections in April.

But he also values ​​his A generation German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently retired, hoping to fill the political vacuum of continental European leaders.

Marine Le Pen, chairman of the far-right national assembly who is planning to run for president, also seized the controversy, arguing on Twitter that the “mass mobilization” of patriotic anger forced the government to back down and cancel it. A generation banner.

Government officials denied that they acted under pressure, saying it was planned all the time A generation The flag only flies for a few days in the new year. Other Paris landmarks such as Notre Dame Cathedral are also illuminated. A generationThe iconic blue.

Macron’s European Minister Clement Bohn accused conservative critics of “desperately chasing meaningless controversy.”

Mr. Bowen accused Ms. Pecrese and her colleagues of making “serious political errors” on Twitter.

“If you are so patriotic, you will know that the French flag has not been’replaced’,” he said. “Elections cannot be an excuse for such low-level lies.”

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