France: Flag & National Symbols                                

  • The flag of France is blue, white, and red and is called the tricolore. 


  • It was first used during the revolution in 1789 when King Louis came to Paris after the fall of the Bastille wearing a tricolor of ribbons on his hat. Red and blue were colors of Paris; white was the color of the royal family.


  • The tricolore is now known as a symbol of liberty throughout the world.


  • In France, each president places his personal standard, or emblem, in the center of the French flag to create the presidential flag.


  • The rooster has long been part of French national culture because the Latin words for “rooster” and for “an inhabitant of Gaul” (Gallia) are similar. Gaul is a historical name used during the Roman Empire. Gaul refers to a region of Western Europe that includes present-day France and Belgium. The rooster of Gaul or coq Gaulois is now a national symbol of France because, during the revolution, the French Flag was decorated with an image of the bird. In 1848, the bird could be found on the seal of the Republic. In 1899, the rooster motif was embossed on the 20-franc coin. Roosters can still be found on stamps and are used to symbolize France at international sports events.

  • The National Flower of France is the stylized lily or iris called the fleur-de-lys. The image symbolized the French monarchy.  


  • The motto of the French Republic is "Liberty, equality, and fraternity".