French far-right wants EU flag off Arc de Triomphe | Inquirer News
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French far-right wants EU flag off Arc de Triomphe

/ 11:00 AM January 02, 2022
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The European flag flies under the Arc de Triomphe to celebrate the start of the French presidency of the European Union, in Paris, France, January 1, 2022. REUTERS

PARIS — Far-right leader Marine Le Pen protested on Saturday against the placing of a European Union flag on the Arc de Triomphe for the start of Paris’ six-month presidency of the bloc.

Le Pen, whom polls show to be President Emmanuel Macron’s main rival for the spring presidential election, was joined by other right-wing politicians in outrage against the EU flag fluttering on the Paris landmark.

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“To adorn the Arc de Triomphe with the sole colors of the European Union, without the presence of a national flag, is a real attack on our nation’s identity, because this monument honors our military victories and houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” she said in a statement.

There was no immediate comment from the pro-EU Macron, whom Le Pen accused of giving a “direct order” to hang the flag.

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But Junior European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said the display was only temporary. “The French flag has not been replaced. The election campaign is not a free pass for petty lies and controversies,” he tweeted.

Macron, who has yet to say if he will run for re-election in April, defeated Le Pen in the 2017 run-off by 66%-34%. All polls show him favorite to win another five-year term.

Le Pen said she would appeal to the Council of State, which acts as legal adviser of the executive, to remove the EU flag.

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TAGS: Arc de Triomphe, EU, France, Marine Le Pen, Politics
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