French mayors could hold several political mandates, amongst which those of deputy or senator were the most prized because they gave them a professional status, salary, political resources useful to reinforce their local position, and direct access to central government. The idea was to modernise the political system and give more voice to dynamic social groups in French society against the conservative forces embodied by local elected officials. The mayor acquired visibility, authority and legitimacy as an entrepreneur. During 1960s and 1970s that political scientists have underscored the resemblance between the mayor and the French head of State. The processes whereby mayors emerged as key political figures, both locally and within the State are closely linked. Mayors themselves wore tricolour sashes to distinguish them from other local elected officials and personify the Republic. Mayors have always had the edge over other political and administrative actors when it comes to protecting their interests.