Gallic rooster

The Gallic rooster (French: le coq gaulois, Gallic cock) is an unofficial national symbol of France as a nation, as opposed to Marianne representing France as a State, and its values: the Republic. The rooster is also the symbol of the Wallonia region and the French Community of Belgium.

Grille du Coq detail
Gallic rooster on the garden gate of the Palais de l'Elysée in Paris, the official residence of the President of the French Republic.


Mémorial des soldats et marins de la Charente-Inférieure (16)
Gallic rooster on top of a war memorial in La Rochelle

During the times of Ancient Rome, Suetonius, in The Twelve Caesars, noticed that, in Latin, rooster (gallus) and Gauls (Gallus) were homonyms.[1] However, the association of the Gallic rooster as a national symbol is apocryphal, as the rooster was neither regarded as a national personification nor as a sacred animal by the Gauls in their mythology and because there was no "Gallic nation" at the time, but a loose confederation of Gallic nations instead. But a closer review within that religious scheme indicates that "Mercury" was often portrayed with the cockerel, a sacred animal among the Continental Celts.[2] Julius Caesar in De Bello Gallico identified some gods worshipped in Gaul by using the names of their nearest Roman god rather than their Gaulish name, with Caesar saying "Mercury" was the god most revered in Gaul.[3] The Irish god Lug identified as samildánach led to the widespread identification of Caesar's Mercury as Lugus and thus also to the sacred cockerel, the Gallic rooster, as an emblem of France.

Its association with France dates back from the Middle Ages and is due to the play on words in Latin between Gallus, meaning an inhabitant of Gaul, and gallus, meaning rooster, or cockerel. Its use, by the enemies of France, dates to this period, originally a pun to make fun of the French,[1] the association between the rooster and the Gauls/French was developed by the kings of France for the strong Christian symbol that the rooster represents: prior to being arrested, Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him three times before the rooster crew on the following morning. At the rooster's crowing, Peter remembered Jesus's words. Its crowing at the dawning of each new morning made it a symbol of the daily victory of light over darkness and the triumph of good over evil. It is also an emblem of the Christian's attitude of watchfulness and readiness for the sudden return of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the final judgment of humankind. That is why, during the Renaissance, the rooster became a symbol of France as a Catholic state and became a popular Christian image on weather vanes, also known as weathercocks.

Liomer, Somme, France
Gallic rooster atop a World War I memorial, Liomer (Somme).
Logo XV de france
The jersey of the French national rugby team, with the traditional Gallic rooster symbol

The popularity of the Gallic rooster as a national personification faded away until its resurgence during the French Revolution (1789). The republican historiography completely modified the traditional perception of the origins of France. Until then, the royal historiography dated the origins of France back to the baptism of Clovis I in 496, the "first Christian king of France". The republicans rejected this royalist and Christian origin of the country and trace the origins of France back to the ancient Gaul. Although purely apocryphal, the rooster became the personification of the early inhabitants of France, the Gauls.

The Gallic rooster, colloquially named Chantecler, had been a national emblem ever since, especially during the Third Republic. The rooster was featured on the reverse of French 20-franc gold pieces from 1899 to 1914. After World War I it was depicted on countless war memorials.

Today, it is often used as a national mascot, particularly in sporting events such as football (soccer) and rugby. The 1998 FIFA World Cup, hosted by France, adopted a rooster named Footix as mascot. The France national rugby league team are known as the Chanteclairs referring to the cockerel's song.

The popularity of the symbol extends into business. Le Coq Sportif ("The athletic rooster"), is a French manufacturer of sports equipment using a stylized rooster and the colors of the French tricolour as its logo. Moreover, it is the logo of Pathé, a French-born, now international company of film production and distribution.

Another heraldic animal officially used by the French nation was the French Imperial Eagle, symbol of the First and Second French Empire under Napoleon I and Napoleon III.


In 1913, the Gallic rooster was adopted as the symbol of Walloon movement. It represents a "bold rooster" (coq hardi), raising its claws, instead of the "crowing rooster" that is traditionally depicted in France. This symbol, also known as the Walloon rooster, was officially adopted as the symbol of Wallonia (in 1998) and the French Community of Belgium (in 1991).


In France and Wallonia, the French onomatopoeia for the rooster crowing sound, "cocorico" (cock-a-doodle-doo), is sometimes used as an expression of national pride. [4]

See also


  1. ^ a b Collignon, Alain (6 April 2017). "Drapeau wallon" [Walloon flag] (in French). Wallonia: Institut Destrée [The Destree Institute]. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  2. ^ Ellis, Peter Berresford (23 June 1994). Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195089615.
  3. ^ Caesar, Julius (53 BC). "Chapter 17" . Commentarii de Bello Gallico [Commentaries on the Gallic War]. Book 6. Translated from Latin by William Alexander McDevitte and W. S. Bohn (1869) – via Wikisource. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  4. ^

External links

Media related to Gallic rooster at Wikimedia Commons

Bourlon Wood Memorial

The Bourlon Wood Memorial is a Canadian war memorial that commemorates the actions of the Canadian Corps during the final months of the First World War; a period also known as Canada's Hundred Days, part of the Hundred Days Offensive. Particularly celebrated are the Canadian Corps crossing of the Canal du Nord, their flushing the German forces from Bourlon and Bourlon Wood and the 'Pursuit to Mons' through Cambrai, Denain, Valenciennes and into Mons on 11 November 1918. It is located adjacent to the town of Bourlon (about 10 km (6.2 mi) west of Cambrai, France).The monument is on the site of the former Bourlon Wood, which was completely obliterated in the fighting. One British soldier, who had to bivouac in the area not long after the ferocious battle, recalled that 'It wasn't much like a wood, more like a lot of crooked matchsticks stuck in the ground'.

Cambrai Memorial to the Missing

The Cambrai Memorial to the Missing (sometimes referred to as the Louverval Memorial) is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) memorial for the missing soldiers of World War I who fought in the Battle of Cambrai on the Western Front.

Douaumont Ossuary

The Douaumont ossuary (French: L'ossuaire de Douaumont) is a memorial containing the skeletal remains of soldiers who died on the battlefield during the Battle of Verdun in World War I. It is located in Douaumont, France, within the Verdun battlefield. It was built on the initiative of Charles Ginisty, Bishop of Verdun. It has been designated a "nécropole nationale", or "national cemetery".

Edmond Delphaut

Edmond Delphaut (1891 1957) was a French sculptor known for his work on World War I memorials, in particular that at Malo-les-Bains in the Nord department in Northern France.

France A national rugby union team

France A, also known as France XV and France B in the past, was the former name of the second national rugby union team of France behind the French national side.

In 2011 the French Rugby Federation designated the France U20 team as the second national side, and from the start of the 2017–18 season, the French Barbarians became the official second side, moving the role of the former France A team to the more prestigious invitational side with better name recognition.

France national rugby union team

The France national rugby union team competes annually against England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in the Six Nations Championship. They have won the championship outright seventeen times, shared it a further eight times, and have completed nine grand slams. Ten former French players have been inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. France are currently ranked 8th in the World Rugby Rankings as of March 18th 2019.

Rugby was introduced to France in 1872 by the British, and on New Years Day 1906 the national side played its first Test match – against New Zealand in Paris. France played sporadically against the Home Nations until they joined them to form a Five Nations tournament (now the Six Nations Championship) in 1910. France also competed in the rugby competitions at early Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal in 1900 and two silver medals in the 1920s. The national team came of age during the 1950s and 1960s, winning their first Five Nations title outright in 1959. They won their first Grand Slam in 1968. Since the inaugural World Cup in 1987, France have qualified for the knock-out stage of every tournament. They have reached the final three times, losing to the All Blacks in 1987 and 2011 and to Australia in 1999. France hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup, where, as in 2003, they were beaten in the semi-finals by England and will once again host the tournament in 2023.

France traditionally play in blue shirts with white shorts and red socks, and are commonly referred to as les tricolores or les bleus. The French emblem is a golden rooster imposed upon a red shield. Their alternative strip is composed of a white shirt and navy blue shorts and socks. French international matches are played at several venues across the country; the Stade de France in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis is used for their games during the Six Nations, and they have a formidable home record at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille where they have only lost twice, to Argentina in 2004 and to New Zealand in 2009.

France national under-18 rugby union team

The France national under-18 rugby union team is the under-18 side of the France national rugby union team in the sport of rugby union.

French Church (Bucharest)

The French Church of the Sacred Heart (Romanian: Biserica Franceză "Sacré-Cœur") is a Roman Catholic parish church located at 3 Gheorghe Demetriade Street, Bucharest, Romania. It is classified as a historic monument by the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs.In the spring of 1906, Monsignor Vladimir Ghika, working with Sister Elisabeta Pucci, whom he had called from Thessaloniki, began work on a building for the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul on land donated by Maria Pâcleanu. In 1922, work began on the Saint Vincent de Paul Sanatorium, inside of which there was a chapel where masses were held until 1930. Additionally, there was a chapel in Pâcleanu's adjacent residence. In 1930, next to the sanatorium's eastern wall, the Daughters of Charity built the parish church, with the altar facing north.On November 12, 1946, the C. I. Parhon Endocrinology Institute was established in the building of the sanatorium. Thus, the area retained a charitable focus, but the church was closed in 1957, a decade into the Communist regime; all charitable activity "by superiors for the poor, orphans and the sick" had been outlawed. On rare occasions, services were held for foreign delegations passing through the country. On December 1, 1991, following the collapse of Communism, the church was reopened and the parish re-established. In 2004, fifty years after he died a political prisoner in Jilava prison, a statue depicting Ghika was placed on a square near the church. As of 2009, the parish has nearly 2000 members, and services are regularly held in Romanian, French, English, Latin and Arabic.The church is in the style of a basilica, with three naves preceded by a small vestibule. The central nave is 6 m wide and has a slightly vaulted ceiling. The others are lower, have flat ceilings, are 3 m wide and are each separated by four square-shaped pillars with Byzantine-style capitals. An extension of the central nave, marked by an arch, features the apse, which has stained-glass windows and a horizontal ceiling. The choir is above the entry into the nave, and there is a small organ to the right of the entrance. Light comes in through large, rectangular windows adorned in stained glass with floral Art Nouveau motifs. The walls and ceilings are painted without decoration. Fourteen bas-relief panels on the walls depict the Stations of the Cross.The exterior is painted simply, in white. The roof has two slopes and is covered in terracotta tiles. Above the roof, behind the entrance facade, there is a small tower with square sides. This has four small, open three-lobed arches, and sharp-angled pediments on each side. On top is a cross and a Gallic rooster. The vestibule is lower, also has a two-sloped roof, and a rounded door. It is located on the southern side before the main facade and provides entry into the church. On either side are two niches surrounded by multiple arches in relief.


Grassendorf is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in north-eastern France.


Hartmannswillerkopf, also known as the Vieil Armand (French) or Hartmannsweiler Kopf (German; English: Hartmansweiler Head) is a pyramidal rocky spur in the Vosges mountains of the Grand Est region, France. The peak stands at 956 metres (3,136 ft) overlooking the Rhine valley. At Hartmannswillerkopf stands a national monument of World War I for the fighting which took place in the trenches here.

Le Coq Sportif

Le Coq Sportif (French pronunciation: ​[lə kɔk spɔʁtif], "the athletic rooster") is a French producer of athletic shoes, activewear, and sporting accessories. Founded in 1882 by Émile Camuset and located in Entzheim, France, the company first issued items branded with its now-famous rooster trademark in 1948. The company's name and trademark are derived from the Gallic rooster, a national symbol of France.

The company is a subsidiary of Airesis SA based in Switzerland.

Le Touret Memorial

The Le Touret Memorial is a World War I memorial, located near the former commune of Richebourg-l'Avoué, in the Pas-de-Calais region of France. The memorial lists 13,389 names of British and Commonwealth soldiers with no known grave who were killed in the area prior to the start of the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915. The exceptions are Canadian soldiers, whose names are commemorated at the Vimy Memorial, and Indian Army soldiers, whose names appear on the Neuve-Chapelle Memorial. Those commemorated on this memorial include the Victoria Cross recipients Abraham Acton, William Anderson, Jacob Rivers, and Edward Barber. Also commemorated here are Clive and Arnold Baxter, brothers who were killed on the same day, 25 January 1915, in the Brickstacks area of Cuinchy.

Designed by J. R. Truelove, the memorial is a loggia surrounding an open rectangular court. The inscription is over the entrance, and given in both French and English. The memorial was unveiled on 22 March 1930 by Lord Tyrrell, a diplomat who was present in his role as British Ambassador to France.

Loos Memorial

The Loos Memorial is a World War I memorial forming the sides and rear of Dud Corner Cemetery, located near the commune of Loos-en-Gohelle, in the Pas-de-Calais département of France. The memorial lists 20,610 names of British and Commonwealth soldiers with no known grave who were killed in the area during and after the Battle of Loos, which started on 25 September 1915. This memorial covers the same sector of the front as the Le Touret Memorial, with each memorial commemorating the dead either side of the date of the start of the Battle of Loos.

Designed by Sir Herbert Baker, the sculptures were by Sir Charles Wheeler. The memorial was unveiled on 4 August 1930 by Sir Nevil Macready. General Macready served as Adjutant-General of the British Expeditionary Force from the outbreak of the war to February 1916, and then served as Adjutant-General to the Forces until a few months before the end of the war.

Louis Dejean

Louis Dejean (June 9, 1872 in Paris – January 6, 1953 in Paris), was a French sculptor and engraver. He worked in the workshop of Gaston Schnegg, along with Antoine Bourdelle, Charles Despiau, Robert Wlérick, Léon-Ernest Drivier, François Pompon, Alfred Jean Halou, Charles Malfray, Auguste de Niederhausern, Henry Arnold, Jane Poupelet and Yvonne Serruys.

McCrae's Battalion Great War Memorial

McCrae's Battalion Great War Memorial is a World War I memorial cairn located in the village of Contalmaison, France. Designed by the historian, Jack Alexander, it was unveiled in 2004 after being first proposed by survivors of the battalion in 1919. As such, it is the last of the 'original' Great War memorials to be built. It commemorates the dead of the 16th Royal Scots volunteer battalion formed by Sir George McCrae, known as 'The Sporting Battalion', who participated in the First Battle of the Somme, July 1916.

The battalion was notable for its high number of professional sportsmen and fans drawn from the football clubs Heart of Midlothian FC, Hibernian FC, Raith Rovers FC, Falkirk FC and Dunfermline FC and a variety of other sporting clubs. Visiting the Contalmaison Cairn has become something of a pilgrimage - particularly for football supporters and school groups.

National personification

A national personification is an anthropomorphic personification of a nation or its people. It may appear in political cartoons and propaganda. As a personification it cannot be a real person, of the Father of the Nation type, or one from ancient history who is believed to have been real.

Some early personifications in the Western world tended to be national manifestations of the majestic wisdom and war goddess Minerva/Athena, and often took the Latin name of the ancient Roman province. Examples of this type include Britannia, Germania, Hibernia, Helvetia and Polonia. Examples of personifications of the Goddess of Liberty include Marianne, the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World), and many examples of United States coinage. Another ancient model was Roma, a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state, and who was revived in the 20th Century as the personification of Mussolini's "New Roman Empire". Examples of representations of the everyman or citizenry in addition to the nation itself are Deutscher Michel, John Bull and Uncle Sam.

National symbols of France

National symbols of France are emblems of the French nation, and are the cornerstone of the republican tradition.


Superdupont is a French comic strip created in 1972 by Marcel Gotlib and Jacques Lob, with the collaboration of Alexis. It is a parody of both Superman and French national attitudes (or, rather, their caricatural perception outside and inside France).

Symbolic chickens

Chickens have been widely used as national symbols, and as mascots for clubs, businesses, and other associations.

The chicken is a national symbol of France and is used as an (unofficial) national mascot, in particular for sports teams. See also: Gallic rooster.

The Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) independent party ZANU party used a chicken as a symbol, since a majority of Rhodesian citizens (mostly native African black) were analphabetic due to lack of school funding for the poor, so they use symbol or mascot to identify their political party.

The standard of Sir Robin from Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a chicken.

The town of Denizli in Republic of Turkey is symbolized by a chicken.

The mascot of the English Premiership team Tottenham Hotspur is a cockerel.

Sydney Roosters Australian rugby league team

The North Adelaide Football Club are also nicknamed the Roosters.

The Rhode Island Red is the state bird of Rhode Island.

Pathé corporate logo

The athletic teams of the University of South Carolina "The USC" (the original USC) use the Gamecock (the fighting cock) as mascot and use the "Gamecocks" as their moniker.

Clube Atlético Mineiro, a soccer team in the Brazilian League has a rooster for mascot and is nicknamed "Galo" (Rooster).

Fighting Cock brand of Bourbon uses a mean rooster as their trademark.

The State Bird of Delaware is the Blue Hen, as well being the Mascot for the University of Delaware sports teams.

Packets of the popular cereal Cornflakes from Kellogg's prominently feature a cockerel.

The Big Chicken of Marietta, Georgia houses a Kentucky Fried Chicken location, and is used as a navigational aid for local military pilots.

Hector Chicken is the eponymous bird who gives his name to the fast food restaurant chain in Belgium and France.

Le Coq Sportif or "the athletic rooster" is a French sports equipment manufacturer.


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