July 08, 2005

The new summer color from Paris: Rouge

In reading a Le Monde article about the London bombings, I came across the news that the French are elevating their alert status to red. The French system is called (I'm not kidding) Vigipirate and was introduced in 1978.

Here's the relevant web site from the French Prime Minister's office. There's an explanation of the program and its history on Wikipedia.

Peculiarly, red isn't the highest alert level in their system. Scarlet is. which if you see the accompanying illustration, is a darker red. Isn't that a bit subtle, even for the French? Of course, they could refer to the highest level as "Burgundy", while the next level could just be "Vin ordinaire."

Some jokers suggested last year that the 4 levels of French alert are Run, Hide, Surrender, and Collaborate.

Posted by campbell at July 8, 2005 04:41 PM | TrackBack