French Americans or Franco-Americans are Americans of French Canadian or French descent. About 11.8 million U.S. residents are of this descent, of whom the majority are of French Canadian descent, and about 1.6 million speak French at home. An additional 450,000 U.S. residents speak a French-based creole language, according to the 2000 census.
While Americans of French descent make up a substantial percentage of the American population, French-Americans arguably are less visible than other similarly sized ethnic groups. This is due in part to the tendency of French-American groups to identify more strongly with “New World” regional identities such as Québecois, French Canadian, Acadian, Cajun or Louisana Creole. This has inhibited the development of a wider French-American identity.
The majority of Americans of French and French Canadian descent are descendants of those who first settled in Canada in the 17th century (known as New France at the time), which later became the Povince of Québec in 1763, Lower Canada in 1791, and a Canadian Province of Québec after Canadian Confederation in 1867. The majority of Americans of French Canadian descent, mostly resident in New England and the Mid-Western States, are descendants of the Quebec Diaspora, while few are of Acadian descent from the Canadian Maritime provinces.
Several years ago it was decided by most of the Franco American organizations of New England to design a flag which would give an identity to the people of French descent established in the United States. The flag was officially adopted by the Northeast United States on May 29, 1983 in Manchester, New Hampshire by the Assembly of Franco-Americans and on August 5, 1983 it was adopted in Makinac, Michigan. The flag was designed by Attorney Robert Couturier of Lewiston Maine. Robert was a co-founder of ActFANE and he was also a founding member of l’Assemblée des Franco-Américains. He is the Secretary General for l’Association Canado-Américaine in Manchester New