This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

France: Ultra-right movements

Last modified: 2008-04-26 by ivan sache
Keywords: unite radicale | cross: celtic (black) | cross: celtic (blue) | disc (white) |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

See also:


All informations included into this contribution are presented in vexillological purpose only. The political attitudes of the users of described flags are not related to those of the contributors in any ways.

Presentation of the ultra-right movements in France

The two main movements of the French ultra-right are presented in the Figaro (a conservaitve daily newspaper) dated 17 July 2002 as follows:

  • The neo-Nazi movements are grouped around the PNFE (Parti nationaliste français et européen - French and European Nationalist Party) and skinhead small groups. The PNFE was created in 1987 by Claude Cornillon, a former member of Le Pen's Front National, and its membership peaked around 500 in the 1990s. These movements were involved in attempts against immigrant homes on the French Riviera. The PNFE membership is now reduced to a few tens of skinheads, mostly opposed to any kind of organization and divided into rival groups.
  • The "nationalist-revolutionary" movements are grouped around UR (Unité radicale - Radical Unit). UR was founded in 1998 by the merging of:
    • the GUD (Groupe Union Défense - Group Union Defense), active in colleges and universities such as the Law Faculty of Assas in Paris;
    • NR (Nouvelle Résistance - New Resistance);
    • RV (Résistance Verte - Green Résistance), ultra-right ecologists;
    • activists of the PNFE (see above) and L'Oeuvre Française (French Work);

UR claims to fight "the stateless syndicalism, the exploiter (economic) liberalism, the crossbreeding jacobinism". UR activists are anti-American, anti-Zionist and anti-globalist but promote an "Imperial Europa, spreading from Galway to Vladivostok". UR was suppressed by governmental decision a few weeks after the attmept against Jacques Chirac (see below).

Ivan Sache, 16 July 2002

The flag used by the man who aimed at Jacques Chirac on 14 July 2002

On 14 July 2002 around 10:00, avenue des Champs-Elysées, a 25-year old man by the name of Maxime Brunerie aimed at President Jacques Chirac's command car with a .22 rifle. The lone gunman stood among the crowd of onlookers who waited for the beginning of the Bastille Day parade. He was immediatly brought under control by two witnesses who had seen the rifle. One of them, a psychiatric male nurse, had noticed Brunerie's weird behaviour. After having controlled him, he was able to prevent him to commit suicide. It seems that the gunman shot once, but his rifle was turned off course upwards by the second witness. The bullet has not been found yet.
According to ballistic experts, the probability for the President to have been shot was extremely low in that configuration, but other people could have been hit by the gunman, not to mention the wave of panic which could have swept through the crowd.
Brunerie was immediatly arrested and questioned. Yesterday, he was confined to a special protected unit in a mental hospital because of his delirious behaviour. Psychiatric experts shall decide in the forthcoming days whether he will be considered as fully responsible of his acts and tried accordingly.

[Brunerie's flag]

Ultra-rightist flag - Image by Ivan Sache, 16 July 2002

Several newspapers have investigated Brunerie's background. It was rapidly shown that Brunerie was a member of small groups of neo-Nazis and football hooligans. It seemed he had announced "a brilliant act" on neo-Nazi bulletin boards and to his friends, who had not believed him.The daily Figaro (conservative) published today a series of papers on the French ultra-right. The front page of the Figaro dated 17 July 2002 shows a colour picture taken by the photograph Paul Delort during the 1st May 2002 ultra-right demonstration in Rivoli street, in the center of Paris. On the right of the picture, the man wearing a blue shirt is Maxime Brunerie, the 14 July gunman. He waved a red flag, apparently 1:2, charged with a black Celtic cross inscribed in a white disk. The disk is skewed to the flag hoist.
The flag is variation of the neo-Nazi flags using the Celtic cross. The design of the flag is a straightforward reference to the Nazi flag (red field, white disk, black symbol) and the Celtic cross is one of the neo-Nazis' prefered symbols.
However, the flag used by Brunerie cannot be attributed to a specific movement. Brunerie was a member of the GUD and later of UR. In May 2001, he was candidate to the municipal election in Paris (XVIIIth arrondissement) on the MNR list, which had tried to attract supporters of the ultra-right movements.

Ivan Sache, 16 July 2002

Other ultra-rightist flags

Issue #420 (dated "from 1990-03-31 to 1990-04-13") of Serbian fortnightly magazine Duga (name means "Rainbow"; no longer exists) contained an interview with Jean-Marie Le Pen titled "Three Le Pen's Words" (Serbian: Tri Le Penove reči), published on page 50. As an illustration, there was a photo with the subtitle "From the demonstrations of the youth of the National Front" (Serbian: Sa demonstracija omladinaca Nacionalnog fronta), showing crowded people with a lot of flags charged with Celtic crosses.
Flags with four different designs were visible on the photo. One of them had red field with a large white disk, set close to the hoist and charged with a black Celtic cross. The flag is clearly with the same design as the one which Maxime Brunerie (see above).

[Ultra-rightist flag]

Ultra-rightist flag - Image by Tomislav Todorović & Mladen Mijatov, 22 April 2006

Another flag was black with a white Celtic cross, which had two fimbriations, the inner one black and the outer one white (see attached image. The flag with this design is often used by the neo-Nazis in different countries.

[Ultra-rightist flag]         [Ultra-rightist flag]

Ultra-rightist flags - Images by Tomislav Todorović & Mladen Mijatov, 22 April 2006

All flags but those two described above had a design which I never saw anywhere else but on that photo: long triangular flags, charged with a white Celtic cross on the field which was either plain red or plain black. Both flags were shown on the photo in approximately equal numbers. Their width seemed to be rather smaller than that of two previously described ones.

National Front does not use Celtic cross as the symbol and does not officially regard itself as a Nazist/Fascist party, so the flags were probably not brought by its members, or at least, not with the official approval of the party.

Tomislav Todorović & Mladen Mijatov, 22 April 2006

[Ultra-rightist flag]

Ultra-rightist flag - Image by Tomislav Todorović & Mladen Mijatov, 24 November 2007

A French tricolour with a large blue Celtic cross on white field was carried by two men, who have spread it between them, on a photo which was published in a Serbian fortnightly magazine named 8 in September 1991. (I cannot remember precise date and number of the issue; the magazine ceased to exist by the middle of 1992, and my later attempts to find a copy of that issue were unsuccessful so far.) On another photo on the same page, some people were shown as waving with small paper flags charged with the tricolour flame emblem of National Front on white field. The intention was obvious to attribute the tricolour flag with the Celtic cross to the National Front as well, but there was no evidence from the photos even that they were both shot at the same place and time, so it remained unclear if the flag with the Celtic cross was indeed brought to a rally of the National Front. If it was, it must have been done without the consent of the organizers of the rally, as the National Front does not use neo-Nazi flags and symbols.

Tomislav Todorović & Mladen Mijatov, 24 November 2007