France: The Scarlet Epidemic

"It used to be that half the passengers on the Metro wore the Legion of Honor," crack Parisians. "Now the only ones who still bother to wear it are the conductors." Today, some 300,000 Frenchmen and several thousand foreigners are entitled to the Legion's lapel emblem, and Charles de Gaulle, who as President of France is Grand Master of the Legion, is anxious to make the list more exclusive. De Gaulle has recently approved a decree reducing the number of annual awards by 20%. Through normal attrition, the government hopes the Legion...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!