The flag of France (French: Drapeau français) is a tricolour flag featuring three vertical bands coloured blue (hoist side), white, and red. It is known to English speakers as the French Tricolour or simply the Tricolour (French: Tricolore). The Tricolour has become one of the most influential flags in history, with its three-colour scheme being copied by many other nations, both in Europe and the rest of the world.
The royal government used many flags, the best known being a blue shield and gold fleur-de-lis (the Royal Arms of France) on a white background, or state flag. Early in the French Revolution, the Paris militia, which played a prominent role in the storming of the Bastille, wore a cockade of blue and red, the city's traditional colours. According to French general Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, white was the "ancient French colour" and was added to the militia cockade to create a tricolour, or national, cockade. This cockade became part of the uniform of the National Guard, which succeeded the militia and was commanded by Lafayette. The colours and design of the cockade are the basis of the Tricolour flag, adopted in 1790. The only difference was that the 1790 flag's colours were reversed. A modified design by Jacques-Louis David was adopted in 1794. The royal white flag was used during the Bourbon restoration from 1815 to 1830; the tricolour was brought back after the July Revolution and has been used ever since 1830, except with a brief interruption for a few days in 1848.
|Adopted||June 1976 (Dark version first adopted in 15 February 1794)|
|Design||A vertical tricolour of blue, white, and red|
|Designed by||Lafayette, Jacques-Louis David|
Variant flag of France
|Adopted||5 March 1848|
(First time adopted 15 February 1794)
|Design||As above, but with the dark shades|
Variant flag of France
|Adopted||17 May 1853 (Previously the same as the national flag)|
Used in the darker shade
|Design||As above, but with bars in proportion 30:33:37. (See French ensigns.)|
Article 2 of the French constitution of 1958 states that "the national emblem is the tricolour flag, blue, white, red". In modern representations, two versions are in use, one darker and the other lighter: both are used equally, but the light version (i.e. the main version used by Wikipedia) is far more common on digital displays. The light version was introduced in 1976 by President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing for use in televised governmental speeches. It is sometimes even used on official State buildings. Town halls, public buildings and barracks, on the other hand, are adorned with the darker version of the flag.
|Pantone||Reflex blue||Safe||Red 032|
|NFX 08002||A 503||A 665||A 805|
|NCS||S 2565 R80B||base colour||S 0580 Y80R|
Currently, the flag is one and a half times wider than its height (i.e. in the proportion 2:3) and, except in the French Navy, has stripes of equal width. Initially, the three stripes of the flag were not equally wide, being in the proportions 30 (blue), 33 (white) and 37 (red). Under Napoleon I, the proportions were changed to make the stripes' width equal, but by a regulation dated 17 May 1853, the navy went back to using the 30:33:37 proportions, which it now continues to use, as the flapping of the flag makes portions farther from the halyard seem smaller.
Blue and red are the traditional colours of Paris, used on the city's coat of arms. Blue is identified with Saint Martin, red with Saint Denis. At the storming of the Bastille in 1789, the Paris militia wore blue and red cockades on their hats. White had long featured prominently on French flags and is described as the "ancient French colour" by Lafayette. White was added to the "revolutionary" colours of the militia cockade to "nationalise" the design, thus creating the tricolour cockade. Although Lafayette identified the white stripe with the nation, other accounts identify it with the monarchy. Lafayette denied that the flag contains any reference to the red-and-white livery of the Duc d'Orléans. Despite this, Orléanists adopted the tricolour as their own.
Blue and red are associated with the Virgin Mary, the patroness of France, and were the colours of the oriflamme. The colours of the French flag may also represent the three main estates of the Ancien Régime (the clergy: white, the nobility: red and the bourgeoisie: blue). Blue, as the symbol of class, comes first and red, representing the nobility, comes last. Both extreme colours are situated on each side of white referring to a superior order.
Lafayette's tricolour cockade was adopted in July 1789, a moment of national unity that soon faded. Royalists began wearing white cockades and flying white flags, while the Jacobins, and later the Socialists, flew the red flag. The tricolour, which combines royalist white with republican red, came to be seen as a symbol of moderation and of a nationalism that transcended factionalism.
The French government website states that the white field was the colour of the king, while blue and red were the colours of Paris.
The three colours are occasionally taken to represent the three elements of the revolutionary motto, liberté (freedom: blue), égalité (equality: white), fraternité (brotherhood: red); this symbolism was referenced in Krzysztof Kieślowski's three colours film trilogy, for example.
In the aftermath of the November 2015 Paris attacks, many famous landmarks and stadiums were illuminated in the flag colours to honour the victims.
During the early Middle Ages, the oriflamme, the flag of Saint Denis, was used—red, with two, three, or five spikes. Originally, it was the royal banner under the Capetians. It was stored in Saint-Denis abbey, where it was taken when war broke out. French kings went forth into battle preceded either by Saint Martin's red cape, which was supposed to protect the monarch, or by the red banner of Saint Denis.
Later during the Middle Ages, these colours came to be associated with the reigning house of France. In 1328, the coat-of-arms of the House of Valois was blue with gold fleurs-de-lis bordered in red. From this time on, the kings of France were represented in vignettes and manuscripts wearing a red gown under a blue coat decorated with gold fleurs-de-lis.
During the Hundred Years' War, England was recognised by a red cross, Burgundy, a red saltire, and France, a white cross. This cross could figure either on a blue or a red field. The blue field eventually became the common standard for French armies. The French regiments were later assigned the white cross as standard, with their proper colours in the cantons.
The flag of Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years' War is described in her own words, "I had a banner of which the field was sprinkled with lilies; the world was painted there, with an angel at each side; it was white of the white cloth called 'boccassin'; there was written above it, I believe, 'JHESUS MARIA'; it was fringed with silk.". Joan's standard led to the prominent use of white on later French flags.
From the accession of the Bourbons to the throne of France, the green ensign of the navy became a plain white flag, the symbol of purity and royal authority. The merchant navy was assigned "the old flag of the nation of France", the white cross on a blue field.
The tricolour flag is derived from the cockades used during the French Revolution. These were circular rosette-like emblems attached to the hat. Camille Desmoulins asked his followers to wear green cockades on 12 July 1789. The Paris militia, formed on 13 July, adopted a blue and red cockade. Blue and red are the traditional colours of Paris, and they are used on the city's coat of arms. Cockades with various colour schemes were used during the storming of the Bastille on 14 July. The blue and red cockade was presented to King Louis XVI at the Hôtel de Ville on 17 July. Lafayette argued for the addition of a white stripe to "nationalise" the design. On 27 July, a tricolour cockade was adopted as part of the uniform of the National Guard, the national police force that succeeded the militia.
A drapeau tricolore with vertical red, white and blue stripes was approved by the Constituent Assembly on 24 October 1790. Simplified designs were used to illustrate how the revolution had broken with the past. The order was reversed to blue-white-red, the current design, by a resolution passed on 15 February 1794. Despite its official status, the tricolore was rarely used during the revolution. Instead, the red flag of the Jacobin Club, symbolizing defiance and national emergency, was flown. The tricolore was restored to prominence under Napoleon.
When the Bourbon dynasty was restored following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the tricolore—with its revolutionary connotations—was replaced by a white flag, the pre-revolutionary naval flag. However, following the July Revolution of 1830, the "citizen-king", Louis-Philippe, restored the tricolore, and it has remained France's national flag since that time.
On 25 February 1848 Lamartine, during the Revolution of 1848, said about the Tricoloured Flag :"I spoke as a citizen earlier, Now listen to me, your Foreign Minister. If I remove the tricolor, know it, you will remove me half the external force of France! Because Europe knows the flag of his defeats and of our victories in the flag of the Republic and of the Empire. By seeing the red flag, they'll see the flag of a party! This is the flag of France, it is the flag of our victorious armies, it is the flag of our triumphs that must be addressed before Europe. France and the tricolor is the same thought, the same prestige, even terror, if necessary, for our enemies! Consider how much blood you would have to make for another flag fame! Citizens, for me, the red flag, I am not adopting it, and I'll tell you why I'm against with all the strength of my patriotism. It's that the tricolor has toured the world with the Republic and the Empire with your freedoms and your glory, and the red flag was that around the Champ-de-Mars, dragged into the people's blood".
Following the overthrow of Napoleon III, voters elected a royalist majority to the National Assembly of the new Third Republic. This parliament then offered the throne to the Bourbon pretender, Henri, comte de Chambord. However, he insisted that he would accept the throne only on the condition that the tricolour be replaced by the white flag. As the tricolour had become a cherished national symbol, this demand proved impossible to accommodate. Plans to restore the monarchy were adjourned and ultimately dropped, and France has remained a republic, with the tricolour flag, ever since.
The Vichy régime, which dropped the word "republic" in favour of "the French state", maintained the use of the tricolore, but Philippe Pétain used as his personal standard a version of the flag with, in the white stripe, an axe made with a star-studded marshal's baton. This axe is called the "Francisque" in reference to the ancient Frankish throwing axe. During this same period, the Free French Forces used a tricolore with, in the white stripe, a red Cross of Lorraine.
The constitutions of 1946 and 1958 instituted the "blue, white, and red" flag as the national emblem of the Republic.
Most French colonies either used the regular tricolour or a regional flag without the French flag. There were some exceptions:
Many provinces and territories in Canada have French-speaking communities with flags representing their communities:
Many areas in the United States have substantial French-speaking and ancestral communities:
Although part of France, the flag of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon does not incorporate the current national flag. The island's flag is based on the historic regional emblems of France. This flag lacks official status.
Tricolore was the official match ball of 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. The tricolour flag and cockerel, traditional symbols of France were used as inspiration for the design. Made by Adidas, it was the first multi-coloured ball to be used in the tournament's final stage and was also the final World Cup ball to bear the classic Tango design, introduced in the 1978 tournament. The design of blue triads decorated with cockerel motifs was adopted to represent the colours of the flag of France. Tricolore was also the first Adidas World Cup match ball manufactured outside of Europe (made in Morocco & Indonesia) since the 1970 Adidas Telstar. "Tricolore" means "three-colored" in French.Alphonse de Lamartine
Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine, Knight of Pratz (French: [alfɔ̃s maʁi lwi dəpʁa də lamaʁtin]; 21 October 1790 – 28 February 1869) was a French writer, poet and politician who was instrumental in the foundation of the Second Republic and the continuation of the Tricolore as the flag of France.Bleu, blanc et rouge
Bleu blanc et rouge (French for "blue, white and red") may refer to:
The Flag of France, whose colors are given as "bleu, blanc et rouge"
Montreal Bleu Blanc Rouge, a junior ice hockey team
A common nickname for the professional ice hockey team Montreal Canadiens
Blue, White and Red Rally (Rassemblement Bleu Blanc Rouge) a nationalist political association in France
The Three Colors trilogy films
Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, a 1998 novel by Alain MabanckouCoat of arms of Wallis and Futuna
The coat of arms of Wallis and Futuna consists of elements from the unofficial flag of Wallis and Futuna featuring a red saltire on a white square, which in turn is placed on a red field (alternatively, a larger white cross pattée is used). The cross is placed on the lower right; the flag of France outlined in white on two sides is in the upper left quadrant.The coat of arms, like the flag, is apparently unofficial.Flag of Belgium
The national flag of the kingdom of Belgium (Dutch: Vlag van België, French: Drapeau belge, German: Flagge Belgiens) is a tricolour of three bands of black, yellow, and red. The colours were taken from the coat of arms of the Duchy of Brabant, and the vertical design may be based on the flag of France. When flown, the black band is nearest the pole (at the hoist side). It has the unusual proportions of 13:15.Flag of Chad
The national flag of Republic of Chad (French: Drapeau du Tchad, Arabic: علم تشاد) is a vertical tricolour consisting (left to right) of a blue, a gold and a red field. Its similarity to the flag of Romania, which differs only in having a lighter shade of blue (cobalt rather than indigo) has caused international discussion. In 2004, Chad asked the United Nations to examine the issue, but then-president of Romania Ion Iliescu announced no change would occur to the flag.Flag of French Polynesia
The flag of French Polynesia is the state flag of the French overseas collectivity French Polynesia. It was adopted in 1984.Flag of Réunion
The flag of Réunion is the flag of the department of Réunion, France. The country uses the flag of France, the national flag of its mother country. Although the federal period of France installed a number of flags of the metropolitan regions, Réunion does not have a separate official flag. However, the regional council of Réunion does have a flag.
The Vexillological Association of Réunion selected a flag in 2003. It depicts the volcano of Fournaise, bedecked by gold sunbeams. It was designed in 1974 by Guy Pignolet with help of Jean Finck and Didier Finck who called it Lö Mahavéli but it really started to be promoted once the association chose it in 2003. It does not have official recognition but since 2014, it is flying on top of many public buildings after several city councils have taken the decision to do so.Independentists and nationalists of Reunion also have their flag (green, yellow, red) which was created in 1986. Green symbolizes the marronage, yellow symbolizes the working class and red symbolizes the period of slavery and indentured labour, struck by a yellow star with five points.Flag of Saint Pierre and Miquelon
The flag of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon is officially the flag of France, as Saint-Pierre and Miquelon is a self-governing overseas collectivity of France.Flag of Wallis and Futuna
The official flag of Wallis and Futuna is the French national flag, as it is a French territory. Wallis and Futuna has a locally used unofficial flag which bears the French flag in the canton.Flags of New Caledonia
Two flags are in use in New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France. Up to 2010, the only flag used to represent New Caledonia was the flag of France, a tricolor featuring three vertical bands coloured blue (hoist side), white, and red known to English speakers as the French Tricolour or simply the Tricolour.
However, in July 2010, the Congress of New Caledonia voted in favour of a wish to fly the Kanak flag of the independentist movement FLNKS alongside the French tricolor. The wish, legally non-binding, proved controversial. . A majority of Neo-Caledonian communes, but not all, now fly both flags, the rest flying only the Tricolour.Flags of South America
This is a gallery of flags of South American countries and affiliated international organizations.Ghevont Alishan
Father Ghevont Alishan (Armenian: Ղևոնդ Ալիշան) (1820-1901; also spelled Ghevond Alishan) was an ordained Armenian Catholic priest, historian and a poet. He was awarded by the Legion of Honour of the French Academy (1866), an honorary member of the Asian Society of Italia, Archeological Society of Moscow, Venice Academy and Archeological Society of Saint-Petersburg.
John Ruskin wrote that he "always looked upon him [Padre Alishan] as a sort of saint; he has been our friend for a great many of years."He was a member of the Mkhitarist Congregation in Venice beginning in 1838. In 1885 he created the first modern Armenian flag. His first design was a horizontal tricolor, but with a set of colors different from those used on the Armenian flag of today. The top band would be red to symbolize the first Sunday of Easter (called "Red" Sunday), the green to represent the "Green" Sunday of Easter, and finally an arbitrary color, white, was chosen to complete the combination. While in France, Alishan also designed a second flag inspired by the national Flag of France. Its colors were red, green, and blue respectively, representing the band of colors that Noah saw after landing on Mount Ararat.
A bust of Alishan, created in 1903 by the sculptor Andreas Ter-Marukian, is displayed in the National Gallery of Armenia.Iowa
Iowa ( (listen)) is a state in the Midwestern United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states; Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, Nebraska to the west, South Dakota to the northwest and Minnesota to the north.
In colonial times, Iowa was a part of French Louisiana and Spanish Louisiana; its state flag is patterned after the flag of France. After the Louisiana Purchase, people laid the foundation for an agriculture-based economy in the heart of the Corn Belt.In the latter half of the 20th century, Iowa's agricultural economy made the transition to a diversified economy of advanced manufacturing, processing, financial services, information technology, biotechnology, and green energy production. Iowa is the 26th most extensive in land area and the 30th most populous of the 50 U.S states. Its capital and largest city by population is Des Moines. Iowa has been listed as one of the safest states in which to live. Its nickname is the Hawkeye State.List of cultural icons of France
This List of cultural icons of France is a list of links to potential cultural icons of France.National symbols of France
National symbols of France are emblems of the French nation, and are the cornerstone of the republican tradition.Roundel
A roundel is a circular disc used as a symbol. The term is used in heraldry, but also commonly used to refer to a type of national insignia used on military aircraft, generally circular in shape and usually comprising concentric rings of different colours. Other symbols also often use round shapes.Toisa Pisces
Toisa Pisces is a Liberia-flagged well test and servicing vessel owned and operated by Sealion Shipping Ltd. She is classified by Det Norske Veritas as an oil production and storage unit.Toisa Pisces was built in 1997 by Ulstein Verft in Norway as a drilling platform supplier and cable ship. In 1997–2000 she was owned and operated by France Câbles et Radio under the name of Fresnel and under the flag of France. In 2000–2003 she was owned by FT Marine SAS. In 2003, the ship was purchased by Sealion Shipping and it was converted at the Gdańsk Shipyard as oil processing unit. She was renamed Toisa Pisces and registered in Monrovia, Liberia. She has an oil processing capacity up to 20,000 barrels per day (3,200 m3/d).Tricolore
In English use, the term Tricolore, French and Italian spelling of tricolour (flag), may refer to:
The flag of France
The flag of Italy
Tricolore (ballet), a 1978 ballet by Peter Martins, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Jerome Robbins'
Tricolore (album), a 2013 album, by Derbyshire indie band Haiku Salut
Tricolore, a singing group taking part in the BBC's Eurovision Song Contest Making Your Mind Up programme in 2005
Tricolore, a popular Italian appetiser/salad consisting of (most commonly) Buffalo Mozzarella, Sliced Tomato, Fresh Basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, also known as a Caprese salad
Tricolore, an Italian salad often containing endive lettuce and strips of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Adidas Tricolore, the official football of the 1998 World Cup
Le Tricolore de Montréal, a soccer team
Montreal Canadiens, a hockey team, nicknamed Le Tricolore
Tricolore, idol unit from the anime series PriPara.
Tricolore is a Textbook written by Sylivia Honnor, Michael Spencer and Heather Mascice-Taylor and published by Nelson Thornes.
Symbols of the French Republic
|Regions of France|
|National coats of arms|
|States with limited|