For immediate release
Mar. 13, 2012
MONTPELIER, Vt. – A Color Guard from the Vermont National Guard will conduct the inaugural raising of the flag of international francophonie in front of the State House, Thursday, March 15, 1:00 p.m.
The formal ceremony will be held in celebration of the friendship shared between France, Quebec, all of French-speaking Canada, and the State of Vermont. French Consul General Christophe Guilhou will present the flag on behalf of France.
Ernie Pomerleau of Burlington, who is honorary French consul for the State of Vermont, will be joined in hosting the event by Gov. Peter Shumlin. Other international dignitaries attending the event include Jean-Stéphane Bernard, Quebec delegate to New England, and Aaron Annable, consul for public affairs with the Consulate General of Canada in Boston.
The month of March is celebrated as ‘le mois international de la francophonie,’ around the world in countries where a French heritage is shared.
“The historical and cultural ties between our francophone neighbors to the north and across the Atlantic, as well as our economic collaboration, continue to strengthen. We are so pleased today and throughout March to celebrate this important connection,” said Gov. Shumlin.
Pomerleau noted that “It is so very fitting here in Vermont, where such a large part of the population springs from Franco-Canada, that we join in on this occasion and celebrate our long history of friendship with France (think: Lafayette!) and with our French-heritage cousins just across the border.”
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“For the Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region, March the biggest month of the year, filled with lectures, films, and cultural and food-centered events inspired by francophone Africa and the Caribbean as well as the French cultures of Europe and North America,” added Alliance President Linda Pervier.
The international government offices in Boston (represented by the dignitaries who are coming to the State House on Thursday) promote like events throughout New England, and the French Consulate General offers the raising of the flag of the International Organization of Francophone States and Societies as a rite that distills into a few lovely minutes a recognition of the bond amongst global Franco cultures.
Brief remarks and a reception in the Cedar Creek Room will follow the flag-raising.
Sponsors for the occasion are the Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region, the Vermont Council on World Affairs, and the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing.