|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.
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 of France.
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.
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.
|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 cockade of France. 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 cockade of France 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 cockade of Frances 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 the Basque Country, Brittany and Normandy. This flag lacks official status.
New Hebrides used several flags incorporating both the British Union Flag and the French flag.
In the Shanghai International Settlement, the flag of Shanghai Municipal Council has a shield incorporating the French tricolour.
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 Poland consists of two horizontal stripes of equal width, the upper one white and the lower one red. The two colours are defined in the Polish constitution as the national colours. A variant of the flag with the national coat of arms in the middle of the white stripe is legally reserved for official use abroad and at sea. A similar flag with the addition of a swallow-tail is used as the naval ensign of Poland.
The flag of Quebec, called the Fleurdelisé represents the Canadian province of Quebec. It consists of a white cross on a blue background, with four white fleurs-de-lis.
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.
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 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 following is a list of historical military colours, standards and guidons in different countries that do not exist today.
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 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.
National symbols of Italy are the symbols that uniquely identify Italy reflecting its history and culture. They are used to represent the Nation through emblems, metaphors, personifications, allegories, which are shared by the entire Italian people.
The national colours of Italy are green, white, and red, collectively known in Italian as il tricolore. The three Italian national colors appeared for the first time in Genoa on 21 August 1789 on the cockade of Italy shortly after the outbreak of the French Revolution. Green, white and red are also national colours of Bulgaria, Hungary, Iran, Lebanon and Mexico.
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. New symbols and styles were put in place to separate the new, Republican country from the monarchy of the past. These new and revised symbols were used to instill in the public a new sense of tradition and reverence for the Enlightenment and the Republic.
Tricolour Day, officially National Flag Day, is the flag day of Italy. Celebrated on 7 January, it was established by Law 671 on 31 December 1996. It is intended as a celebration, though not a public holiday. The official celebration of the day is held in Reggio Emilia, the city where the Italian tricolour was first adopted by an Italian sovereign state, the Cispadane Republic, on 7 January 1797.
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).
The cockade of France 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.
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