The France / USA connection is everywhere


Everyone knows the phrase an American in Paris, and when you go there, you run into a lot of American ex-pats (hey Patty from L.A. at the wine store!). Of course, the histories of the two countries have long been intertwined. Where did the American’s get the colors for their flag? The all-American Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French. You can see smaller versions of it in Paris.

Paris - sign on building peace treaty

If you walk around NYC, you look up to see the tall buildings. In Paris you look up to see the plaques on the buildings.

Paris - sign on Didot building

Easy to miss the sign with the grey on grey motif. Now the building seems to be a typepography company, named after a famous French typeface.

Not being a big history student I was intrigued to see the plaque on the building where the treaty was signed between England and the United States recognizing the legitimacy of the states. Why in Paris? Neutral territory to say nothing of the money and guns that France had supplied the Americans in their war for freedom from the British. Read about Benjamin Franklin’s years in Paris to learn more. Franklin was a Francofile. Fitting!

Paris - Red Dead Redemption metro ads

Another popular image of the U.S. - violent video games. These posters were all over the Metro.

Paris - U.S. flag pistol

The U.S. is never far from the minds of many of the French. Either something they aspire to (live in NYC!), feel superior to or just use as subject matter for art.


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