In this post from 2016, I talked about France’s two official flags.
The first is the traditional tricolor everyone’s familiar with:
But there’s also the civil and naval ensign:
In this version the red stripe is larger – specifically, the ensign’s stripes are at a ratio of 30:33:37, versus 33:33:33 on the original flag. This is because this flag looks more “correct” when viewed from a distance, especially if constantly flapping in the wind, as it would on a ship. This flag is also used in some places like seaside military cemeteries or memorials, again because it looks “normal” in the wind.
In my original post, I said that the ensign was also used on TV, for press conferences and the like. Well, I was wrong. There’s actually a third flag for that:
Informally called the “Presidential Flag”, it’s used by French presidents in televised communications. And it works, too. Check out this pic of the flag behind two former French presidents:
In contrast, here’s a picture of current French president Emmanuel Macron at the White House with President Trump:
The French must have left their special flag at home (and the White House stocked only with “regular” French flags) because there’s an ocean of white in the flag that photograph.
And it’s not just the French who do something like this. Here’s a picture of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing in front of special flags that have been altered so that the Star of David appears in correct (upright) orientation:
Compare this with regular Israeli flags, where the Star of David is crooked when hanging from a flagpole: