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Flag of France

Name: Tricolour
Use: National flag
Proportion: 2:3
Adopted: June 1976[1] (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

Use: National flag
Proportion: 2:3
Adopted: 5 March 1848
(First time adopted 15 February 1794)
Design: As above, but with the dark shades

Variant flag of France

Use: National ensign
Proportion: 2:3
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. 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. Town halls, public buildings and barracks, on the other hand, are adorned with the darker version of the flag.

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.

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was one of many world landmarks illuminated in the French flag colors after the November 2015 Paris attacks.
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.


Kingdom of France
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.

French Republic

République française (French)
Flag of France
Motto: "Liberté, égalité, fraternité"
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"
Anthem: "La Marseillaise"
"The Marsellaise"
Great Seal of France
Great Seal of the French Republic
Grand Sceau de la République française
EU-France (orthographic projection).svgShow globe
EU-France.svgShow map of Europe
Location of metropolitan France (dark green)

– in Europe (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union (green)

Location of the territory of the French Republic (red) Adélie Land (Antarctic claim; hatched)
  • Location of the territory of the French Republic (red)
  • Adélie Land (Antarctic claim; hatched)
and largest city
48°51′N 2°21′E / 48.850°N 2.350°E / 48.850; 2.350
Official language
and national language
Nationality (2010)

89% French (native-born)

4.4% French (naturalised)

6.2% non-citizens

8.9% foreign-born
(Maghrebis, Africans, Other Europeans, Asians, Turks, Americans)


51% Christian

40% irreligious

6% Muslim

1% Jewish

2% other faiths

Demonym(s) French
Government Unitary semi‑presidential republic
• President
Emmanuel Macron
• Prime Minister
Édouard Philippe
• President of the Senate
Gérard Larcher
• President of the National Assembly
Richard Ferrand
Legislature Parliament
• Upper house
• Lower house
National Assembly
• Baptism of Clovis I
25 December 496
• Treaty of Verdun[II]
August 843
• Republic established
22 September 1792
• Founded the EEC[III]
1 January 1958
• Current constitution[IV]
4 October 1958
• Total
640,679 km2 (247,368 sq mi) (42nd)
• Metropolitan France (IGN)
551,695 km2 (213,011 sq mi)[V] (50th)
• Metropolitan France (Cadastre)
543,940.9 km2 (210,016.8 sq mi)[VI] (50th)
• October 2018 estimate
Increase 67,348,000 (21st)
• Density
104.61105/km2 (270.94271/sq mi) (106th)
• Metropolitan France, estimate as of October 2018[update]
Increase 65,167,000 (22nd)
• Density
116/km2 (300.4/sq mi) (89th)
GDP (PPP) 2019 estimate
• Total
$3.081 trillion (10th)
• Per capita
$47,113 (26th)
GDP (nominal) 2019 estimate
• Total
$2.845 trillion (6th)
• Per capita
$43,500 (22nd)
Gini (2017) Steady 29.3[8]
HDI (2017) Increase 0.901
very high · 24th
  • Euro (€) (EUR)[VII]
  • CFP franc (XPF)[VIII]
Time zone UTC+1 (Central European Time)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+2 (Central European Summer Time[X])
Note: various other time zones are observed in overseas France.[IX]
Date format dd/mm/yyyy (AD)
Driving side right
Calling code +33[XI]
ISO 3166 code FR
Internet TLD .fr[XII]
Source gives area of metropolitan France as 551,500 km2 (212,900 sq mi) and lists overseas regions separately, whose areas sum to 89,179 km2 (34,432 sq mi). Adding these give the total shown here for the entire French Republic. The CIA reports the total as 643,801 km2 (248,573 sq mi).
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Flag History of France? | How old is France Flag Design formation? | How to call France?
Categories: National symbols of France,National flags,Flags of France,Flags introduced in 1794,Flags introduced in 1830, France,Countries in Europe,French-speaking countries and territories,G7 nations,G8 nations,G20 nations,Member states of NATO,Member states of the Council of Europe,Member states of the European Union,Member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie,Member states of the Union for the Mediterranean,Member states of the United Nations,Republics,Romance countries and territories,Southwestern European countries,Western European countries

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