By Philippe Lagadec, Laurent Le Gall, Jean-François Simon, Mannaig Thomas, John Angell
The purpose of this project was to understand and explain the suggestive or even enunciatory power assigned to the French flag as part of a national “community” initiative in the wake of the terrorist attacks on November 13, 2015. After the attacks, the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, called on the nation’s citizens to display the tricolor flag. Two weeks later, we walked through the streets of Brest, a city in Brittany, to observe the effects of his appeal. Beneath a gesture seen by many of our interviewees not only as a form of self-revelation but also as an “extraordinary” act, the episode reveals often-overlooked forms of symbolic and real political exchanges.