Cockade of France

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Cockade of France Coccarda FRANCIA.svg
Cockade of France

The cockade of France (French : Cocarde tricolore) is the national ornament of France, obtained by circularly pleating a blue, white and red ribbon. It is composed of the three colors of the French flag with blue in the center, white immediately outside and red on the edge.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

Cockade ornament consisting of or imitating a rosette or knot of ribbon, worn usually on a hat as a badge of office or party, as part of livery dress, or as decoration

A cockade is a knot of ribbons, or other circular- or oval-shaped symbol of distinctive colours which is usually worn on a hat.

France Republic in Europe with several non-European regions

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.



Camille Desmoulins, who devised the first French cockade Rouillard - Camille Desmoulins.jpg
Camille Desmoulins, who devised the first French cockade
The Phrygian cap with a French tricolor cockade, symbols of the Revolution Bonnet Phrygien.png
The Phrygian cap with a French tricolor cockade, symbols of the Revolution
Officer of the gendarmerie nationale of the revolutionary era wearing a hat with a tricolor cockade Officier de gendarmerie sous la revolution.jpg
Officer of the gendarmerie nationale of the revolutionary era wearing a hat with a tricolor cockade

The French tricolor cockade was devised at the beginning of the French Revolution. On 12 July 1789 – two days before the storming of the Bastille – the revolutionary journalist Camille Desmoulins, calling on the Parisian crowd to revolt, asked the protesters what color to adopt as a symbol of the revolution, proposing either green (representing hope) or the blue of the American revolution, symbol of freedom and democracy. The protesters responded "The green! The green! We want green cockades!" [1] Desmoulins then took a green leaf from the ground and pinned it to his hat. [1] However, the green was abandoned after just one day because it was also the color of the king's brother, the reactionary Count of Artois, later King Charles X. [2]

French Revolution Revolution in France, 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

Storming of the Bastille Major event of the French Revolution

The Storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris, France, on the afternoon of 14 July 1789.

Camille Desmoulins French politician

Lucie-Simplice-Camille-Benoît Desmoulins was a journalist and politician who played an important role in the French Revolution. Desmoulins was tried and executed alongside Danton when the Committee of Public Safety reacted against Dantonist opposition. He was a schoolmate of Maximilien Robespierre and a close friend and political ally of Georges Danton, who were influential figures in the French Revolution.

The following day, 13 July, an opportunity arose to create a cockade with different colors when those bourgeois who hoped to limit revolutionary excesses established a citizen militia. [3] It was decided that the militia should be given a distinctive badge in the form of a two-colored cockade in the ancient colors of Paris, blue and red. [3]

Coat of arms of Paris Unique heraldic visual design on an escutcheon, shield, surcoat, or tabard of Paris

The coat of arms of the city of Paris shows a silver sailing ship on waves of the sea in a red field, with a chief showing the Royal emblem of gold-on-blue fleur-de-lis. Originally introduced in the 14th century, its current form dates to 1853. The city motto is Fluctuat nec mergitur. The traditional colors of the city of Paris are red and blue.

On 17 July, King Louis XVI went to Paris to meet the new French National Guard: its members wore the blue and red cockade of the militia, to which it would appear that the Marquis of Lafayette, commander of the Guard, had added a white band representing loyalty to the Sovereign. [4] Louis XVI put it on his hat and – with some reluctance – approved the appointment of the revolutionary Jean Sylvain Bailly as mayor of Paris, and the formation of the National Guard led by Lafayette. [5] Thus was born the French tricolor cockade. On the same day, the Count of Artois left France, along with members of the nobility supportive of absolute monarchy. [6]

Louis XVI of France King of France

Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste, was the last king of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. He was referred to as citizen Louis Capet during the four months before he was guillotined. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis, son and heir apparent of Louis XV, Louis-Auguste became the new dauphin of France. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he assumed the title "King of France and Navarre", which he used until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of "King of the French" until the monarchy was abolished on 21 September 1792.

National Guard (France) 1789–1872 military reserve and police branch of Frances military

The National Guard is a French military, gendarmerie, and police reserve force, active in its current form since 2016 but originally founded in 1789 during the French Revolution.

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette French general and politician.

Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, known in the United States simply as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the Siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830.

The tricolor cockade became the official symbol of the revolution in 1792, with the three colors now said to represent the three estates of French society: the clergy (blue), the nobility (white) and the third estate (red). [2] The use of the three colors spread, and a law of 15 February 1794 made them the colors of the French national flag. [4]

Estates of the realm broad social orders of the hierarchically conceived society recognised in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period in Christian Europe

The estates of the realm, or three estates, were the broad orders of social hierarchy used in Christendom from the medieval period to early modern Europe. Different systems for dividing society members into estates developed and evolved over time.

Clergy formal leaders within established religions

Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's doctrines and practices. Some of the terms used for individual clergy are clergyman, clergywoman, and churchman. Less common terms are churchwoman and clergyperson, while cleric and clerk in holy orders both have a long history but are rarely used.

Nobility Official privileged social class

Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be largely honorary, and vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto noblesse oblige, nobles can also carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is typically hereditary.

From August 1789, Italian demonstrators in sympathy with the French revolution began to use simple cockades of green leaves inspired by the primitive French cockade. From these evolved the red, white and green Italian tricolor cockade. [7]

Cockade of Italy

The cockade of Italy is the national ornament of Italy, obtained by folding a green, white and red ribbon into a plissé using the technique called plissage ("pleating").


Use on institutional vehicles

Detail of a presidential Citroen SM Citroen SM presidentielle - flamme presidentielle.JPG
Detail of a presidential Citroën SM
A Dassault Rafale with a French tricolor cockade Rafale A.JPG
A Dassault Rafale with a French tricolor cockade

Decree no. 89-655 of 13 September 1989 forbids the use of the tricolor cockade on all land, sea and air vehicles, with the following exceptions: [8]

The use of the tricolor cockade is not permitted for mayors' vehicles, and offenders risk up to one year's imprisonment and a fine of €15,000. [9]

Use on state planes

The first use of the tricolor cockade on aircraft dates from World War I, when it was used on military aircraft participating in the conflict. [10] Cockades were, and still are, painted on the aircraft fuselages. [10]

Cockades continue to be used on French state aircraft. [11] After World War II a yellow border was added to the cockade, which was removed in 1984. [12]

Other uses

The tricolor cockade is also used on certain elite uniforms, both military and civilian, which include headwear decorated with it. [13] [14] It is likewise an attribute of Marianne, the national allegorical representation of France, who is conventionally depicted wearing a Phrygian cap, sometimes decorated with a tricolor cockade. [15] The cockade appears on mayors' badges; [16] and on the sash worn by Miss France. [17]

See also


    1. 1 2 "Giovani del terzo millennio, di Giacomo Bolzano" (in Italian). Retrieved 9 March 2017.
    2. 1 2 "Il verde no, perché è il colore del re. Così la Francia ha scelto la bandiera blu, bianca e rossa ispirandosi all'America" (in Italian). Retrieved 9 March 2017.
    3. 1 2 "Presa della Bastiglia, il 14 luglio e il rosso della first lady messicana Angelica" (in Italian). Retrieved 9 March 2017.
    4. 1 2 "Le drapeau français - Présidence de la République" (in French). Retrieved 9 March 2017.
    5. "Le Mystère de la Cocarde" (in French). Retrieved 9 March 2017.
    6. Antonia Fraser, Marie Antoinette: the Journey, 2002, pp. 113–116.
    7. Ferorelli, Nicola (1925). "La vera origine del tricolore italiano". Rassegna storica del Risorgimento (in Italian). 12 (fasc. 3): 668.
    8. "Décret n°89-655 du 13 septembre 1989 relatif aux cérémonies publiques, préséances, honneurs civils et militaires" (in French). Retrieved 9 March 2017.
    9. "Apposition de la cocarde tricolore sur les véhicules des élus locaux" (in French). Retrieved 9 March 2017.
    10. 1 2 Patoz, Jacques; Saint-Ouen, Jean-Michel (1999). L'Armée de l'air (in French). Méréal. ISBN   978-2-84480-017-6.
    11. "La cocarde nous fait toute une histoire: évolution de la cocarde d'aviation française (1912–aujourd'hui)" (in French). Retrieved 11 March 2017.
    12. Ehrengardt, Christian J. (1983). "La chasse française en Afrique du nord 1942-1945" (in French). 53: 21, 24, 29.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
    13. "La TEnue de TRAdition (TETRA)" (in French). Archived from the original on 13 September 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
    14. "Paris Politecnico: Qual è il più breve del mondo un soprannome?" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
    15. "1944 - 2008 - Les représentation de la Marianne républicaine sur les timbres" (in French). Retrieved 10 March 2017.
    16. "L'insigne des maires" (in French). Retrieved 10 March 2017.
    17. "Miss France: ce soir, je serai la plus belle" (in French). Retrieved 10 March 2017.

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