The Millennium Gate Museum, sometimes referred to as Atlanta’s answer to the Arc de Triomphe, has put up a 12-by-18-foot French flag to show solidarity with the victims of the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people and heightened security concerns throughout Europe.
“It is with great sadness that we express to them our sincere condolences for the terrible loss of life that occurred on November 13th. Such acts of terrorism have no place in the civilized world. Sanctioned by no religion, they are an affront to humanity,” museum director Jeremy Kobus wrote in an emailed statement.
The attacks occurred just a month after the Millennium Gate celebrated Franco-American ties during the Revolutionary War. The Oct. 10 event marked the 1778 signing of the Treaty of Alliance, conceptualized by Benjamin Franklin and put into action when the French fought with the colonial rebels in a failed 1779 siege aimed at taking back Savannah from British forces.
It isn’t the first time a foreign flag has hung at the Millennium Gate: Last year Japan‘s rising-sun flag was there to mark the 40th year since the opening of the Asian nation’s consulate in Atlanta. In recognition of that partnership, organizers held the ceremonial planting of the last in a set of 40 Yoshino cherry trees in the park surrounding the gate. The trees, which are celebrated annually in Georgia during the Macon Cherry Blossom Festival, have come to symbolize how the state’s relationship with Japan has blossomed over the years.