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On-the-spot France

Joan of Arc in surprise presidential bid

Audio 04:01
Wikimedia Commons
By: Clare Sharkey
5 min

2012 marks the 600th birthday of one of France’s best known historical figures, Joan of Arc. Claiming divine guidance, she helped French forces win some decisive victories in the Hundred Years War against the English. 2012 is also the year of presidential elections and her image as a symbol of nationalism is being used by politicians, particularly on the right. How did this young girl from Lorraine become a symbol of French national identity several centuries on?

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