In the early days of the French Revolution, the three colors were brought together in the form of a cockade. In July 1789, just before the storming of the Bastille, the city of Paris found itself in a state of great distress. A militia was formed and the element that characterized it was a cockade composed of the two old colors of Paris: blue and red. On July 17, Louis XVI arrived in Paris to recognize the new National Guard who wore the blue and red cockade to which Commander Lafayette had apparently added white.
The law of 27 pluviôse, of the year II (of February 15, 1794), established the "tricolor” as the national flag. On the recommendation of the painter David, the law stipulated that the blue should be placed on the side of the pole.
During the 19th century, the blue of the legitimist royalists was in contention with the three colors inherited from the Revolution. The white flag was reintroduced under the restoration, but Louis Philippe restored the “tricolor” and crowned it with the French rooster.
During the Revolution of 1848, the provisional government changed the "tricolor"; however, the people on the barricades raised a red flag as a sign of their uprising.
Under the Third Republic, a consensus regarding the three colors was soon reached. Starting in 1880, the presentation of the colors to the armed forces every July 14 became a moment of great patriotic fervor.
Despite the fact that the Count of Chambord, claimant to the French throne, never lent the “tricolor”, the royalists ended up rallying around the national flag at the time of the First World War.
The constitutions of 1946 and 1958 (article 2) instituted the blue, white, and red flag as the national emblem of the Republic. The colors represent "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity", which were the ideals of the French Revolution and is France's national motto as of the beginning of the Republic of France. Blue and red are also traditionally the colors of Paris, while white is the color of the House of Bourbon.
Today, the French flag is seen on all public buildings. It is hoisted for national commemorations, and honors are paid to it according to a very precisely defined ceremony. Frequently, the flag is used as a backdrop when the president of the republic addresses the people. As circumstances require, it may be accompanied by the European flag or the flag of another country.
|Flag Date of Adoption||15 February 1794|
Three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), white, and red; known as the French Tricouleur (Tricolor); the design and/or colors are similar to a number of other flags, including those of Belgium, Chad, Ireland, Cote d'Ivoire, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands; the official flag for all French dependent areas.
The colors of the French flag "combine" various symbols that were invented for various factors, such as:
Blue is the color of Saint Martin, who was a wealthy Gallo-Roman officer who tore his blue cloak in two with his sword to give one half to a beggar in a snowstorm. That represents service, the duty of the rich to help the poor.
White is the color of the Virgin Mary, to whom Louis XIII consecrated the Kingdom of France in the 17th century; it is the color of Joan of Arc, under whose banner the English were also finally driven out of the Kingdom (in the 15th century). Logically, it became the color of royalty. The king's ships carried white flags at sea.
Red is the color of Saint Denis, the patron saint of Paris. The kings' original war flag was the red banner of Saint Denis.