au carrefour contemporain

I need some help with the translation of the above phrase. I'm translating text accompanying photos about the country. This text is about a certain region which is now starting to develop due to the construction of an industrial plant (ie better economy for the region) but is still very traditional.
There are three photos on the page which accompanies the text: a photo of the French flag flying with a second flag which has incited much heated discussion from the inhabitants of the country, together with a photo of a roundabout in the centre of town and a service station.
The previous text on the page (for another photo) starts with "... this village had its rendez vous with history thanks to the essence from the xx tree..."

The text I'm now translating takes up the idea of a rendez vous with history - in French:
"Quelle sera l’histoire du rendez-vous des deux drapeaux symboliques, qui flottent depuis longtemps côte à côte dans le Nord, au carrefour contemporain ?"

I might be reading too much into "carrefour contemporain"

My attempt:
What will be the history regarding the rendezvous of the two symbolic flags which for a long time now, have been flying side by side at the modern crossroads?

Can anyone tell me if there is a better way to translate carrefour contemporain?
 
  • bh7

    Senior Member
    Canada; English
    This is one of those French fuzzy sentences that is supposed to create a certain warm feeling in the reader rather than make literal sense. Successful French politicians have a never-ending supply of such verbiage. Since (symbolic) flags don't customarily get together for a meeting, whether flying side-by-side at the modern / contemporary crossroads or not, it seems to me that the translator has to figure out what particular feeling or state of mind the sentence was supposed to have engendered and then try to duplicate that effect in the other language.

    Possibly: "...which have proudly flown side by side in the North for many years at this cultural crossroads." (obviously not what's literally in the original sentence, but ...).
     
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