French schools ordered to display EU flags in classrooms

Education bill amendment first proposed by right-wing party

The flag will be hung in every single French classroom
The flag will be hung in every single French classroom

EU flags must be hung in every French classroom from this week, after a new education law came into force on Monday.

The law, passed in July, also requires the French flag to be hung in each classroom as well as the national motto: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.”

Words from La Marseillaise, the national anthem, must also be displayed, according to euronews.

The new law has been nicknamed the Loi Blanquer, after education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.

It aims to overhaul France’s education system, with a series of controversial reforms.

Although the bill is a government one, the idea for displaying the flags did not come from Emmanuel Macron’s party but from the right-wing Les Republicains.

Mr Blanquer initially resisted the flag amendment but the altered legislation was passed once the two parties struck a compromise.

Les Républicains is attempting to position itself as a nationalist alternative to Marine Le Pen’s hard right National Rally party.

The law permits illustrations of flags instead of real ones and schools have bought specially designed posters.

Costs of the project will be borne by the French education ministry.

The left wing party France Unbowed has criticised what it views as a drift towards nationalism.

“Schools are not (military) barracks,” one of the party’s MPs said.

The education law places all nursery, primary and middle schools under one administrative entity.

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It also requires all children in France to begin school by the age of three.

Currently children are not required to attend school until the age of six, though most enter the education system at an earlier age.

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