Acting out: Flying the Tricolore after the November 13 attacks (Brest, November 27, 2015)

By Philippe Lagadec, Laurent Le Gall, Jean-François Simon, Mannaig Thomas


Following the terrorist attacks of November 13, 2015, the French President issued a call for citizens to display the national flag—the Tricolore. Two weeks later, we wandered the streets of Brest to observe the public effects of this appeal. Beneath what many of our interviewees perceived not only as an unveiling but also as an “extraordinary” act, displaying flags constitutes an often overlooked form of political exchange. This article analyzes the power of suggestion or even declaration assigned to the French flag, through the unifying link it was intended to represent as an act of participation in a national “community.”


  • flag
  • terrorist attack
  • political community
  • politicization
  • artifact
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