Emmanuel Macron at G5 Sahel summit, June 30th 2020
Emmanuel Macron at G5 Sahel summit, June 30th 2020Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron has changed the blue of this country's flag to navy blue.

The red and white stripes have remained as they were.

The original French flag was created in 1794. In 1976, President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing decided to lighten the color of the blue stripe to match that of the European Union flag, in order to emphasize France's commitment to the EU.

Under French law, presidents are easily able to alter government symbols, without consulting the national gathering or the government.

The "new" flag was first displayed in 2018, when it appeared in the background during one of Macron's speeches. All of the palace's flags were switched on ahead of Bastille Day, on July 13, 2020, but only after the move was published did Macron's office confirm that the change was made.

In a statement, the French Presidency said, "The President of the Republic (Emmanuel Macron) has chosen for the tricolour flags that adorn the Élysée Palace the navy blue that evokes the imagination of the Volunteers of Year II, the Poilus of 1914 and the Compagnons de la Libération of Free France."

"It is also the blue of the flag that has always flown under the Arc de Triomphe every (Armistice Day) 11 November."

According to BBC, France's Navy, as well as many official buildings countrywide, have always used the navy blue shade.