France has been flying slightly different flag, but only now is it being noticed

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Nov. 15 (UPI) — The French national flag has always been the same — blue on the left, white in the middle and red on the right. But its current iteration has only been flying for three years, a minor change that came as a surprise to many on Monday.

Government officials told French media on Monday that President Emmanuel Macron ordered a change to the flag in 2018, specifically for a darker shade of blue.

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Flags with the darker shade began to be used at speeches and appearances by Macron. By 2020, the altered flag flew at Elysee Palace and other government buildings.

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May hold a joint press conference at Elysee Palace in Paris, France, on June 13, 2017. The flag with the lighter shade of blue can be seen next to the EU flag behind Macron. File Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI

A staffer told reporters that the change was official in July 2020, but it wasn’t until Monday that outlets Europe 1 and Le Parisen reported the move.

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The officials said the darker blue is a “more elegant” symbol of the French Revolution.

Former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing switched the lighter blue in 1976 to match the color of the European Union flag.