Bleu, Blanc, Rouge
Last year when I was in France I purchased a French flag from a vendor in the city of Vannes. I wanted a French flag because after many years of taking the language I fell in love with the culture of this beautiful country, especially after traveling throughout the country. What I liked was the story of France, of CoCo Chanel and the impressionists and the culinary culture. While all are important pieces of the French culture the bigger picture is what most tourists miss. When I bought my flag, I simply wanted it as a decoration in my room, just another object to add to my travel collection.
After the November attacks in Paris my view of this flag has changed. It no longer sat folded in my closet, a forgotten momento of my travels. I put this flag on a pole and flew it just as I would an American flag on an American day of remembrance. I now look at this flag as a symbol of characteristics that I admire of the French people and the French culture: their long, beautiful history, their love of country, their treasured language, their open doors, their generosity, the sense of connection and spirit and pure gratitude. I flew my flag in November to show my respect and love for this country that I wish to one day call my second home. I can't believe that I am flying it again, especially on Bastille Day. A day that the French should be celebrating their victories and heritage, not mourning loss.
I must have left a piece of my heart in France to feel a connection this deep. The photos above are from my trip to France last year, from the time that I saw the Bastille Day parade on the Champs-Elysées.
Avec tout mon couer