THE French flag flies at half mast over Edinburgh today as Scotland's capital mourns the attack on its Gallic twin.

At least 84 people are dead in Nice after a truck was driven into a crowd marking Bastille Day, a celebration of the nation's principles of liberte egalite fraternite - liberty, equality and fraternity.

Though the world stands in solidarity with France after the atrocity, Edinburgh has paid particular tribute due to its special relationship with the Mediterranean city.

READ MORE: Glasgow woman describes terror and panic of Nice lorry attack: "We thought it was fireworks but it was gun shots"

For more than half a century the pair have been twinned, a mark of special friendship, leading Edinburgh's Lord Provost to offer his sympathies this morning.

The Rt Hon Donald Wilson said: “On behalf of all of the people of Edinburgh, our thoughts are with the citizens of Nice and the rest of France. It is all the more heartfelt for Edinburgh as Nice is one of our twin cities which we have had a special relationship with since 1958.

“I will be formally sending a letter of sympathy to the Mayor of Nice and French Consul General but words can hardly do justice in the wake of such an horrific attack.

"Our heartfelt condolences are with people of Nice and the families of all those who have died and are injured.

“The flags flying above Edinburgh City Chambers have been lowered to half mast as a mark of respect and support for all those affected.”

The morning has also seen Nicola Sturgeon say Scotland will stand with France. The First Minister offered her support to all those affected in the 'senseless' attacks.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon offers support to France as Scotland stands in solidarity with oldest ally

Scotland and France have long enjoyed close bonds. The "Auld Alliance" as the relationship is affectionately known, originally grew out of both countries perennial conflicts with England between 1295 and 1560.

In a speech which he delivered in Edinburgh in June 1942, the then-Leader of the Free French, later French President, Charles de Gaulle described the alliance between Scotland and France as "the oldest alliance in the world".

He said "In every combat where for five centuries the destiny of France was at stake, there were always men of Scotland to fight side by side with men of France, and what Frenchmen feel is that no people has ever been more generous than yours with its friendship."