Russian meddling or World Cup hopes? Wrong French flag color at July 14 parade puzzles (PHOTOS)
France celebrated Bastille Day on Saturday, July 14 with a massive military parade on the Champs Elysee, which was attended by President Emmanuel Macron. Bastille Day commemorates the storming of a prison in 1789, a key event in French history that heralded the foundation of a post-monarchic republic.
During a flyover – the most-anticipated part of any military show -nine warplanes from the Air Force Patrouille de France traversed the skies over Paris, spraying the colors of the French flag. However, one of the jets on the left of the formation dispersed red smoke instead of blue.
It’s unclear if there was a reason for this display, or if it was the result of a malfunction. However, this new version of the French national banner – which resembled the Russian flag from a certain angle – prompted speculations online whether it was Russians meddling or related to the French team playing in the World Cup final on Sunday.
Lorsque les couleurs de la France et de la Russie s’unissent grâce à la @PAFofficiel, ce ne peut être qu’un très bon présage pour la victoire demain de l’@equipedefrance à Moscou. #14juillet #CoupeDuMonde#AllezLesBleus#Football#FRACRO#PatrouilledeFrancepic.twitter.com/csdANG8GyL— Christophe Robin (@XopheRobin) July 14, 2018
Encore un coup des Russes ! 😂😂😂— Ni gauche Ni droite (@noipval) July 14, 2018
La Russie à gauche ;-)— Christian Ebersold (@eberhunter1) July 14, 2018
Hâte d'être à demain, dimanche 15 juillet 2018, LA finale de la coupe du monde avec ce beau drapeau qui va représenter notre pays, notre fierté. Vive la France, Vive la Patrouille Française #CDM2018#FRACRO#14Juillet#FeteNationale#ChampsElysees#patrouilledefrancepic.twitter.com/Pj7tu1PZZS— Christophe S (@ChriSpecklin) July 14, 2018
In another incident earlier two French gendarmerie motorbikes collided several meters away from President Emmanuel Macron’s podium. The riders were part of a carefully choreographed performance, but it turned out that some of them had miscalculated trajectory of their bike.
After falling on the cobblestoned area, they righted their vehicles to applause from Macron and his top brass.
The two-hour parade incorporated some 4,200 troops, 220 vehicles and around 100 warplanes, along with Japanese and Singaporean soldiers who were invited as honorary guests. As part of heightened security measures, French authorities deployed around 110,000 security officers for the Bastille Day festivities and World Cup final, according to Reuters.
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