Washington Square Arch, Modeled After Arc de Triomphe, Will Shine French Flag Colors Again Tonight


Over 1,000 people gathered in Washington Square Park yesterday afternoon, Saturday, November 14th to mourn the victims of Friday’s attacks on Paris. Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the vigil; a French flag was hung from the Arch and the structure was lit up in its colors of blue, white, and red. The Arch looked beautiful in color.

The Washington Square Arch was modeled after Paris’s Arc de Triomphe so it is particularly fitting that the vigil was held beneath it.

Over 100 people died and more than 400 people were injured in the attacks of November 13th.

The lighting effects were created by artist Brian Tovar who wrote: “respond to violence with art and light. I am honored to have lit the Washington Square Park arch with the support of the most amazing team of friends and colleagues.”

The Arch will be lit again in the colors of the French flag tonight, Sunday, November 15th.

About The French Flag:

The French flag contains three vertical stripes of equal width. From the flagstaff to the end, these colors are blue, white, and red. More than 20 countries use these three colors in their flag, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The colors are correlated to the country’s aristocratic and revolutionary history.

Via Newsweek, New York Mourns Paris Attacks in Washington Square Vigil:

New Yorkers gathered around the arch in Washington Square Park on Saturday to mourn those killed in a series of attacks by the Islamic State in Paris.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio attended the vigil around 2 p.m. after visiting the French Consulate, where a small memorial formed Friday evening after the attacks.

The City Hall clock tower will be lit blue, white and red in honor of those killed. The Freedom Tower spiral was lit in honor of the flag as well. The Empire State Building was turned off.

A vigil remained below the arch and on either side, including flowers, notes and messages of strength.

The arch will be lit up for all to see overnight.

And according to Gothamist:

Accompanied by French Ambassador Gerard Araud and Consulate General Bertrand Lortholary, de Blasio laid flowers by the arch. The mayor added, “The only answer to terrorism is to be resolute to not allow the terrorists to change who we are. We must refuse to be terrorized. We won’t change our democracy. We won’t change our values.”

During the lighting, there was talk around the park that this was the first time in its history that the Washington Square Park arch had been illuminated in anything but its usual white. Designed by Brian Tovar, the tricolor effect was achieved using spotlights as well LEDs at the bases and midpoints on each leg of the arch.

The designer, Brian Tovar, confirmed that the Arch will be lit again tonight.

Photo: Polly Mosendz/Newsweek

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2 thoughts on “Washington Square Arch, Modeled After Arc de Triomphe, Will Shine French Flag Colors Again Tonight”

  1. It would have been appropriate for the arch to not only bathe in the colors of the tri-color of France (Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité), but also in the flags of Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, where recent mass-bombings have taken place and many, many innocent civilians killed by the French, and the U.S. Or, how about the universal flag of the Doctors Without Borders, two of whose hospitals were obliterated by attacks by the United States government.

    Mitchel Cohen
    Brooklyn Greens/Green Party

  2. Thanks, Mitchel, for your comment. I hear what you are saying. I understand why Paris is considered a bit differently (almost like a sister city), but, at the same time, people are people and these situations are horrible and so that is not really valid. Doctors without Borders was a beyond horrible situation that there was never any *explanation* (how could there be but also how could there not be?) for.

    There is a new post about how the lighting came to be at the Arch which mentions your comment (and Jill Stein statement):

    Thanks. And also thanks for the Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité correlation to the tricolor of the French flag. When I was researching, the site I referenced neglected to mention this.



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