In a Bid to Instill Patriotism in France, Flags and Anthem Now Required in Every Classroom

CNS News | 9/3/2019 | Staff
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Paris ( – As the new school year begins in France, every classroom in the country is required to display a French flag, a European Union flag, the words of the national anthem, and the French motto “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” The requirement arises from a proposal designed to instill patriotism, but stoked controversy in some quarters.

Other changes confirmed in recent days by Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer include measures aimed at tackling school violence – including threats directed at teachers – putting environmental and sustainable development at the heart of learning, and the enshrining in law of a right to go to school without being harassed.

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The call for the national flag to be displayed in every classroom from kindergarten to high school originated with Republican lawmaker Éric Ciotti, who put forward the proposal at a time when the National Assembly was discussing education legislation early this year.

The Assembly adopted the proposal, but added the obligation to display the E.U. flag as well, alongside the French one.

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Lawmakers also decided to make it mandatory to have the lyrics of the national anthem and the national motto appear in every classroom in public and private institutions, from primary to high school.

During the discussions in February, Ciotti argued for the need “to love France, and to have the French people love France from the earliest age, to develop their patriotic feeling.”

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He said doing so would help to counter “the multiple plagues that threaten our country.”

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris and other cities in 2015, schools organized a minute of silence to remember and honor those killed or affected...
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