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Last Updated:  Thursday, 13 March, 2003, 23:33 GMT
'Freedom fries' lambasted in US
The action follows the rechristening of French fries
France's staunch opposition to war may mean French fries have been wiped off the menu in some US restaurants, but President Jacques Chirac is not without fans on the other side of the Atlantic.

The town of Carrboro in the southern state of North Carolina decided it was time someone fought in the French corner after a local Republican succeeded in rechristening French fries "freedom fries" and French toast "freedom toast" in House of Representatives restaurants.

The town's council, or Board of Aldermen, have passed a resolution declaring April "French trade month", and will be encouraging residents to buy as many French products as they can all month in protest at the action.

"It's kind of tongue in cheek but we also have a serious message," Joal Hall Broun, one of the aldermen, told BBC News Online. "France is right to try to avoid war - we're sick of all this anti-French stuff, it's dumb."

Angry at Paris's refusal to back the President Bush's tough stance against Iraq, some Americans have accused the French of not being grateful enough for the services of the US at the end of World War II.

The ingratitude of the governments of Belgium, France and Germany boggles the mind. If it were not for the heroism of American soldiers during the Second World War, Hitler's Third Reich would be in its eighth decade
Tom Lantos
US Representative
Ms Hall Broun recalled that, were it not for the French, the Americans would have lost the battle for independence against their now close ally Britain, during the American Revolution.

The French provided significant military help to the Americans in their campaign against the British, and supplies of French gunpowder are widely believed to have secured the decisive American victory at Saratoga in 1777.

"So in fact we have a lot to thank France for, if it weren't for them we might be British," Ms Hall Broun said.

Rob Watson gauges opinion on the name change
"I guess it's a little childish, but may be tit-for-tat"

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