There has been controversy in France over the European flag being flown under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, as well as the Eiffel Tower and Pantheon. The flag has been flown to mark the start of the French presidency of the European Union. Now Valérie Pécresse, who is the presidential candidate for the Republicans, has accused Emmanuel Macron on Monday of having “a problem with French history”.
She said: “I believe that Emmanuel Macron has a problem with the history of France.
“He went to Algeria to say that we had committed crimes against humanity.
“He went to an Anglo-Saxon media to say that he wanted to deconstruct the history of France and today the flag.
“In Algeria, there were indeed abuses, there were dark pages of French history that were written, but not crimes against humanity.
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Ms Pécresse tweeted: “Presiding over Europe yes, erasing French identity no!
“I solemnly ask Emmanuel Macron to restore our flag next to that of Europe under the Arc de Triomphe.”
Today on French media outlet RTL, Monday 3 January, Ms Pécresse said the debate over the flag has been “revealing of three political lines”.
She suggested that Mr Macron’s view of Europe is “the horizon at the risk of erasing national identity”.
Ms Pécresse said that “the far right, which has started shouting ‘horror, we have put up the European flag, we must take it down and put the French flag back'”.
She added: “What I say is that the two flags go together.
“I want a strong France in a powerful Europe.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.