France removes EU flag from Arc de Triomphe after rightwing anger


French authorities removed a temporary installation of the European Union flag from the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris on Sunday, after right-wing opponents of President Emmanuel Macron accused him of “erasing” French identity.

The giant blue flag was raised in place of the French flag on New Year’s Eve to mark France’s turn at the rotating presidency of the EU Council, which it will hold for the next six months.

The arch, a monument to war dead, and other landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and the Pantheon are also being illuminated with blue lights for the remainder of this week.

But Macron’s right-wing rivals for presidential elections in spring seized on the removal of the tricolor flag, calling it an affront to France’s heritage and its veterans.


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