French troops intervened in the nation this month to help their African counterparts battle Islamist militants overrunning the north.
As a show of appreciation, Malians are flying French flags in cities nationwide, so much so that they are selling out, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
They are wearing them on their shoulders and waving them on the streets. They are perching them atop cars and motorbikes rolling down the streets.
Although African nations attained independence decades ago, colonial powers still wield a lot of influence.
"Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France's decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows," Richard Johnson said in an editorial on the National Post.
Europeans are strategic when it comes to determining what colonial ties to keep, according to the editorial.
"So it was shedding the direct authoritarian power at the barrel of a gun and replacing that with independence, but an independence that was, and is still to some extent, extremely dependent on the political and economic will of the former colonial masters," David McDonald, professor of the Global Development Studies at Queen's University, says in the Post editorial.
Heavyweights clash in African Cup of Nations
Nigeria takes on defending champions Zambia in Friday's Group C match, one of the most anticipated games in the African Cup of Nations.
In another battle of the heavyweights on the same day, Ethiopia will clash with Burkina Faso, a game that's sure to draw raucous crowds.
Ethiopia's football federation was fined this week after fans hurled objects onto the pitch to protest a red card given to their goalkeeper. That game with Zambia ended in a 1-1 draw.
Zambia won the Cup last year after a thrilling penalty shootout that ended in tears for star-studded Ivory Coast.
The win was sentimental because it occurred in Gabon, the same country where a tragic crash killed Zambian team players in 1993.
The Cup continues in South Africa until February 10.