The deputies vote the obligation of the French and European flags on the pediment of the town halls of more than 1,500 inhabitants

The National Assembly approved a contested bill from the Renaissance group, by 130 votes to 109.

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The French and European flags on the pediment of the town hall of Dampierre-en-Yvelines (Yvelines), September 8, 2021. (GARDEL BERTRAND / HEMIS.FR / AFP)

The National Assembly voted, on the night of Wednesday May 10 to Thursday May 11, a contested bill which makes it compulsory to display the French and European flags on the pediment of town halls with more than 1,500 inhabitants. After a tense examination, the bill was supported by 130 votes against 109 at first reading. The text must now be examined by the Senate.

The bill, led by the Renaissance group, was voluntarily put on the agenda on Tuesday, the anniversary of Robert Schuman’s declaration of May 9, 1950, considered a founding text of European construction. One year before the European elections, the rapporteur for the text, Mathieu Lefèvre, has assumed the divisive nature of his proposal to “symbolic significance”. “Those who find it difficult to hide their uneasiness in front of the starry flag find it just as difficult to hide their dreams of Frexit in disguise”he attacked, targeting rebellious deputies and RN.

The relaxed bill

Amendments have relaxed the initial version, allowing flags to be hoisted near town halls or on their roofs. Above all, they exempted municipalities with fewer than 1,500 inhabitants, for financial reasons. Some 70% of municipalities will therefore not be affected by this obligation, denounced the deputy (LR) Philippe Gosselin. The decoration of the pediments of town halls with these two flags was already widespread.

The deputies also voted for an amendment to guarantee, in all town halls this time, the presence of the official portrait of the President of the Republic. This usage is also widespread. Two other modifications were made to the text, to affix the motto Liberty, Equality, Fraternity on my town hall facades and display the declaration of the Rights of Man and of the citizen inside.

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