|Adopted||June 1976 (Dark version first adopted on 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.)|
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.
A tricolour or tricolor is a type of flag or banner design with a triband design which originated in the 16th century as a symbol of republicanism, liberty or indeed revolution. The flags of France, Italy, Romania, Mexico, and Ireland were all first adopted with the formation of an independent republic in the period of the French Revolution to the Revolutions of 1848, with the exception of the Irish tricolour, which dates from 1848 but was not popularised until the Easter Rising in 1916 and adopted in 1919.
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.
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,[ citation needed ] 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.[ citation needed ] 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.
The fleur-de-lis or fleur-de-lys is a stylized lily that is used as a decorative design or motif. Many of the Catholic saints of France, particularly St. Joseph, are depicted with a lily. Since France is a historically Catholic nation, the fleur-de-lis became "at one and the same time, religious, political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic", especially in French heraldry.
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.
The Storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris, France, on the afternoon of 14 July 1789.
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, while town halls, public buildings and barracks are adorned with the darker version of the flag.
The current Constitution of France was adopted on 4 October 1958. It is typically called the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, and replaced that of the Fourth Republic dating from 1946. Charles de Gaulle was the main driving force in introducing the new constitution and inaugurating the Fifth Republic, while the text was drafted by Michel Debré. Since then the constitution has been amended twenty-four times, through 2008.
Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d'Estaing, also known as Giscard or VGE, is a French elder statesman who served as President of the French Republic from 1974 to 1981.
|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.
The French Navy, informally "La Royale", is the maritime arm of the French Armed Forces. Dating back to 1624, the French Navy is one of the world's oldest naval forces. It has participated in conflicts around the globe and played a key part in establishing the French colonial empire.
In sailing, a halyard or halliard is a line (rope) that is used to hoist a ladder, sail, flag or yard. The term halyard comes from the phrase, 'to haul yards'. Halyards, like most other parts of the running rigging, were classically made of natural fibre like manila or hemp.
Blue and red are the traditional colours of Paris, used on the city's coat of arms. Blue is identified with Saint Martin,[ citation needed ] red with Saint Denis.[ citation needed ] 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.
The flag of Paris is vertically divided between the traditional colours of Paris, blue and red, both of which also feature in the city's coat of arms. Blue is identified with Saint Denis, red with Saint Martin.
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.
Saint Martin of Tours was the third bishop of Tours. He has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints in Western tradition.
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.
The Oriflamme was the battle standard of the King of France in the Middle Ages. It was originally the sacred banner of the Abbey of St. Denis, a monastery near Paris. When the oriflamme was raised in battle by the French royalty during the Middle Ages, most notably during the Hundred Years War, no prisoners were to be taken until it was lowered. Through this tactic they hoped to strike fear into the hearts of the enemy, especially the nobles, who could usually expect to be taken alive for ransom during such military encounters.
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.
The Ancien Régime was the political and social system of the Kingdom of France from the Late Middle Ages until 1789, when hereditary monarchy and the feudal system of French nobility were abolished by the French Revolution. The Ancien Régime was ruled by the late Valois and Bourbon dynasties. The term is occasionally used to refer to the similar feudal systems of the time elsewhere in Europe. The administrative and social structures of the Ancien Régime were the result of years of state-building, legislative acts, internal conflicts, and civil wars, but they remained and the Valois Dynasty's attempts at re-establishing control over the scattered political centres of the country were hindered by the Huguenot Wars. Much of the reigns of Henry IV and Louis XIII and the early years of Louis XIV were focused on administrative centralization. Despite, however, the notion of "absolute monarchy" and the efforts by the kings to create a centralized state, the Kingdom of France retained its irregularities: authority regularly overlapped and nobles struggled to retain autonomy.
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 French flag of a white cross on a blue field is still seen on some flags derived from it, such as those of Quebec and Martinique.
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.
The flag of the Netherlands is a horizontal tricolour of red, white, and blue. The current design originates as a variant of the late 16th century orange-white-blue Prinsenvlag, evolving in the early 17th century as the red-white-blue Statenvlag, the naval flag of the States-General of the Dutch Republic, making the Dutch flag perhaps the oldest tricolour flag in continuous use. It has inspired the Russian and French flags. During the economic crisis of 1930s the old Prince's Flag with the colour orange gained some popularity among some people. To end the confusion, the colours red, white and blue and its official status as the national flag of the Kingdom of the Netherlands were reaffirmed by royal decree on 19 February 1937.
The flag of Luxembourg consists of three horizontal stripes, red, white and blue, and can be in 1:2 or 3:5 ratio. It was first used between 1845 and 1848 and officially adopted in 1993. It is informally called in the country, «rout, wäiß, blo,».
The national flag of the kingdom of Belgium 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. It has the unusual proportions of 13:15.
The flag of Quebec, called the Fleurdelisé represents the province of Quebec. It was adopted by the government of Quebec during the administration of Maurice Duplessis. It was the first provincial flag officially adopted in Canada, first shown on January 21, 1948, at the Parliament Building of the National Assembly in Quebec City. Quebec's Flag Day commemorates its adoption each year, though for some time it was celebrated in May. At least one parade marked the flag's 60th anniversary in January 2008.
National colours are frequently part of a country's set of national symbols.
The national flag of Republic of Chad is a vertical tricolour consisting 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 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.
The flag of Italy, often referred to in Italian as il Tricolore ; is a tricolour featuring three equally-sized vertical pales of green, white and red, with the green at the hoist side. Its current form has been in use since 18 June 1946 and was formally adopted on 1 January 1948.
Tricolor or tricolour, or tricolored, tricoloured, may refer to:
The flag of Ivory Coast features three equal vertical bands of orange, white, and green.
A cockade is a knot of ribbons, or other circular- or oval-shaped symbol of distinctive colours which is usually worn on a hat.
A French ensign is the flag flown at sea to identify a vessel as French. Several such ensigns have existed over the years as well as terrestrial flags based on the ensign motif.
Some of the colonies, protectorates and mandates of the French Colonial Empire used distinctive colonial flags. These most commonly had a French Tricolour in the canton.
The flag of Acadia was adopted on August 15, 1884, at the Second Acadian National Convention held in Miscouche, Prince Edward Island, by nearly 5,000 Acadian delegates from across the Maritimes. It was designed by Father Marcel-Francois Richard, a priest from Saint-Louis-de-Kent, New Brunswick. The Musée Acadien at the Université de Moncton has the original flag presented by Father Richard to the 1884 Convention. It was sewn by Marie Babineau.
The Argentine cockade is one of the national symbols of Argentina, instituted by decree on February 18, 1812 by the First Triumvirate, who determined that "the national cockade of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata shall be of colours white and light blue [...]".
The Battle of Emsdorf was fought on 16 July 1760 during the Seven Years' War at Emsdorf in present-day Hesse, Germany, between forces of British, Hanoverian and Hessian troops under the Prince of Hesse-Kassel against German troops in French service under Marechal de Camp von Glaubitz. It was part of the campaign to disrupt the French line of communications by capturing Marburg, a French supply depot.
Symbolism in the French Revolution was a device to distinguish and celebrate the main features of the French Revolution and ensure public identification and support. In order to effectively illustrate the differences between the new Republic and the old regime, the leaders needed to implement a new set of symbols to be celebrated instead of the old religious and monarchical symbolism. To this end, symbols were borrowed from historic cultures and redefined, while those of the old regime were either destroyed or reattributed acceptable characteristics. These revised symbols were used to instill in the public a new sense of tradition and reverence for the Enlightenment and the Republic.
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