France's foreign flag orgy upsets nationalist party poopers

With the end of the election, we had almost shut up shop and pulled down the Presidential Paté shutters for good. But then there was the after-party tittle-tattle…

Did you hear about the mass of non-French flags at the Bastille election party on Sunday? When François Hollande was announced winner of the presidential poll, a veritable army of flags – flags from a range of political parties, pro-peace flags, gay rights flags, even the national flags of other countries (!) – streamed into the Place de la Bastille to be waved senseless by the roaring masses.

As illustrated by this useful "Before/ After" photomontage …

Before Hollande was elected, it was sunny. People lined up in rows quietly. They waved neatly cut flags handed to them by Sarkozy organisers. After he was elected, it became very dark. People crowded the streets, smiled manically, climbed on national monuments. And waved flags you have never even seen before.

So what were gay rights activists, Tunisians, working party supporters, environmentalists and the Irish doing celebrating a Socialist victory at a French presidential election? That was the question rightwing pundits found themselves asking on Monday morning, when they woke up to the harsh reality that their dear leader, Nicolas Sarkozy, was no longer king of the hill, and a bunch of grinning foreigners had taken over the capital.  

Photo evidence of the invasion was distributed among concerned citizens, along with a grave warning: “The real storming of the Bastille.” Rightwing politicians, pundits and bloggers joined forces to denounce the display of multi-national, multi-party, social-cohesive pride. Sarkozy’s apprenticeships minister, Nadine Morano, described the all-night party as “not very welcoming”. Marine Le Pen’s tough-talking boyfriend and National Front VP, Louis Aliot, told reporters that he “saw a lot of Algerian flags” (no way!). Blogger Jonathan Reisberg pointed out that French people are not “Iraqi, Syrian, Algerian, Italian, gay, Palestinian, Communist or Greek, but French”. 


So French people can’t have origins? Beliefs? Causes?... Personality? The UMP and FN have already moved to get foreign flags banned in public. If these party poopers had their way, we’d be lined up silently, clutching our Tricolores and staring at the Eiffel Tower…

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