- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2013

French Communists have dropped the widely recognized hammer and sickle icon from their membership cards in efforts to appeal to younger generations.

The iconic symbol will be replaced with a star representing the multi-party European Left alliance, much to the chagrin of traditionalists who attended the party’s annual congress in Paris on Thursday, The New York Times reported.

“Everyone in the party is shocked,” French Communist Party (PCF) Paris Secretary Emmanuel Dang Tran told France Info radio on Friday. “The PCF is allowing itself and its values to be swallowed up by another organization, the Left Front.”

He added that the party is abandoning “what represents, for the working class of this country, a historic element in resistance against the politics of capitalism.”

Party General Secretary Pierre Laurent defended the change, saying the hammer and sickle icon no longer represents the party.

“It’s an established and revered symbol that continues to be used in all our demonstrations,” he told LCI Radio in Paris on Friday. “But it does not illustrate the reality of who we are today. It isn’t so relevant to a new generation of communists.”

The PCF is still France’s largest left-wing party in terms of membership, but its standing has declined rapidly since the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, France 24 reported.

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