The man who had the audacity to slap President Macron in 2021 was given a four-month prison sentence. Not enough, most people say. The prosecutors had asked for eighteen months. 28 years old and unemployed, he was said to harbor ultra-right political convictions.
There’s an old tradition in France to “flour” politicians. What does this mean? The act of covering someone with white flour sends the message “se faire rouler dans la farine” (to get rolled in flour). That’s the literal translation, but the real meaning is to dupe or lie to people. This is what many French citizens believe their politicians do to them. The expression comes from the 19th century when actors used flour as makeup and would dupe people with their identities.
Oddly enough, no one seems to protest this strange French practice, including the target himself. We watch it on TV and everyone chuckles (myself included). Even the perpetrator below (wearing sunglasses) had his moment in the sun when reporters gathered round with microphones to ask what compelled him to buy a bag of white flour and throw it onto Jean-Luc Mélenchon (leader of a left-wing populist political party called La France Insoumise). Video below. Mélenchon’s reaction is calm as he brushes the flour off his suit and hair. He himself was probably a flour-thrower when he was a young rebel.
Further below is another video showing other politicians getting floured and worse – receiving cream pies in their face. Look at President Hollande standing calmly before a lectern on stage while brushing the flour of his papers.
Nicolas Sarkozy gets a pie in the face, as do others.