In 2003, a new term for French fries designed to protest France's opposition to U.S. plans for a war on Iraq. The new term was coined by restaurateur Neal Rowland, who began selling freedom fries in Cubbie's of Beaufort, North Carolina in February, and attracted the interest of his elected representative Walter Jones (R-NC).

On March 11, 2003, Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), chair of the House Administration Committee, led a charge to bring freedom fries to a larger spotlight. Ney, himself of French descent, championed a bill that would replace French fries in the House cafeteria with freedom fries. The bill passed the Republican-led House of Representatives, and House administrators thereby changed the menus to comply with the new standard. French fries are now freedom fries, and French toast is now freedom toast.

The move evoked memories of World War I, when such German staples as frankfurters and sauerkraut were renamed (to hot dog and liberty cabbage, respectively) as a sign of American opposition to Germany. Here, however, France is challenging the U.S. on a matter of foreign policy and bears no aggression towards us. Other actions have gotten legislators riled up to vilify France: in my home state of Pennsylvania, for example, State Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Delaware Co.) sought to ban French wine from the state's liquor stores -- that would have denied French vineyards their share of Pennsylvania's $625 million liquor spending budget.


Feedback!

Sasha Gabba Hey! says "The funniest thing is that the U.S. called chips 'french fries' in the first place. They're effectively denouncing their own bad decision."

ariels says "...french fries are, in fact, Belgian, and that the French HATE the use of the term." This was also stated by an official for the French Embassy on March 12, 2003.

TenMinJoe says "French Toast was named after a bloke called 'French,' not the nation." See French Toast for the yummy details.

Just_Tom summarized the chatterbox discussion after this node's creation: "we should get freedom bread, freedom polish, freedom dressing, freedom kissing, freedom maids, and freedom letters too." Let's not forget Freedom's Yellow Mustard to put on our frankfurters hot dogs liberty sausages.


Sources:
http://edition.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/03/11/sprj.irq.fries/
http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/South/02/19/offbeat.freedom.fries.ap/
http://kyw.com/Local%20News/local_story_046205802.html

While quaffing down a couple of cold ones at my local establishment last night, the subject of “freedom fries” came up. Naturally everybody who wasn’t glued to the television watching NCAA basketball had some sort of opinion on the subject

One of my good friends, a learned professor of geography at the prestigious institution known as Ohio State University, is a very well spoken and well traveled individual. As the discussion moved to the French and their stance on the possible war with Iraq and the insanity of re-naming French Fries and the like because we disagree with their so called pompous attitude, here’s what he had to say. (okay, we were a little skewered on beer and my recollection of the conversation is a little hazy so this isn’t verbatim, but it is damn close.)

”Hey, you really wanna piss the French off? Do you think they give a shit about us renaming French Fries or French Toast? C’mon, they’re freakin’ embarrassed to even be associated with the goddamn things! If you REALLY wanna piss ‘em off, start naming MORE things after them. They can’t stand that kinda shit!”

Commentary

I guess the concept of freedom is pretty hard to define. The French, among others, have expressed their freedom in the form of not backing the United States in a war with Iraq. Many would, rightly so in my humble opinion, call them ungrateful for their stance given the circumstances surrounding a little incident that goes by the name of World War II. But then again….

When does blind allegiance to any country or cause stop? When can a debt such as the guaranteeing of freedom be considered paid in full? The French are merely exercising the freedom that was granted to them through the horrible bloodshed that occurred during World War II.

I guess many countries have certain freedoms that they can take for granted. Given the conditions that exist in the world right now, it appears that the freedom to disagree with the United States is not among them. Right now, the message we seem to be sending is that while it's okay to disagree with the United States, you can be certain there will some kind of price to pay.

These points and a multitude of others are better left to be pondered by minds with a far greater capacity than mine to understand such things. The only thing I do know is that this is not the type of “freedom” that I would endorse.

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