French flag: colors,meaning and history

Current French flag
Posted: March 6, 2017 at 8:17 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

French flag design and description :-

French flag is a tri-colored flag having 3 vertical stripes of different colors. Blue stripe at the hoist side then white in the middle and red at the end. Blue and red stripes are due to the fact that these both are traditional colors of France. and white was added to represent loyalty and peace. the stripes are in equal proportion in France National flag meanwhile the proportion of Variant flag of French Republic is 30:33:37 with a similar design, the modification in proportion of stripes was made on 17 May 1853 before that when it was first adopted on 15 Feb 1794 equal stripes were used.

The proportion of French flag is 2:3 and interesting fact is that the design of the flag of France has been an inspiration for other countries flags. for example, Haiti flag‘s colors have been adopted from French flag.

French flag meaning:-

There are several different meanings related to French flag and it’s colored especially.

Blue and red colors on French flag are said to be related with the Virgin Mary the patroness of France and were the colors of the Oriflamme (the sacred banner of the Abbey of St. Denis).

They also said to represent the three famous different classes living in France during middle ages. (Clergy, Noble, and Bourgeoisie). The bourgeoisie was said to be represented by blue and Noble were represented by red, the Clergies were represented by white. the one reason white has been placed between Blue and Red is said to show the dominance of both classes over Clergies and that Clergies are Surrounded by them.

The three colors are often said to represent the three elements of the revolutionary motto, liberté (freedom: blue), égalité (equality: white), fraternité (brotherhood: red).

another meaning of French flag colors explained by a French government website that the white is the color of the king, while blue and red were the colors of Paris.

French flag colors :-

Blue and Red are said to be the traditional colors of Paris and were used on Coat of Arms of Paris.

the official color scheme of France flag has been given in Table below.

French flag Color Scheme:-







Reflex BlueSafeRed 032

RGB0, 85, 164255, 255, 255

239, 65, 53




S 2656 R80B

Base color

S 0580 Y80R




Imperial Blue


Imperial Red




0, 35, 149255, 255, 255

237, 41, 57

CMYK1, 0.765, 0.415, 0.4150, 0, 0, 0

0, 0.827, 0.070, 0.070



French flag History:-

The tricolor French flag is derived from the rosettes used during the French Revolution. These are circular emblems in the form of a rosette attached to the hat. Camille Desmoulins asked her followers to wear green cockades on July 12, 1789. The Paris militia, formed on July 13, adopts a blue and red rosette. Blue and red are the traditional colors of Paris and are used in the coat of arms of the city. Rosettes with various colors were used during the assault on the Bastille on July 14. The blue and red rosette was presented to King Louis XVI at the Hôtel de Ville on July 17 . Lafayette advocated adding a white band to “nationalize” the design.  On July 27, a tricolor rosette was adopted as part of the National Guard uniform, the national police that succeeded the militia.


The Constituent Assembly approved a tricolor flag with red, white and blue vertical stripes on October 24, 1790. Simplified drawings were used to illustrate how the revolution broke with the past. The order was dumped to blue-white-red, the current drawing, by a resolution passed on February 15, 1794. Despite its official status, the tricolor flag was rarely used during the revolution. Instead, the red flag of the Jacobin Club was displayed, symbolizing the national challenge an emergency. The tricolor was restored to prominence under Napoleon.

When the Bourbon dynasty was restored after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the tricolor – with its revolutionary connotations – was replaced by a white flag, the prerevolutionary naval flag. However, after the Revolution of July 1830, the “King Citizen,” Louis-Philippe, restored the tricolor and remained as the national flag of France since then.

On February 25, 1848, in the Revolution of 1848, Lamartine said about the tricolor: “I spoke before as a citizen, now listen to me, your Minister of Foreign Affairs, if I eliminate the tricolor flag, you will take half of the external force from France As Europe knows the flag of its defeats and victories in the flag of the Republic and the Empire, seeing the red flag, you will see the flag of a party! It is the flag of our victorious armies; it is the flag of our triumphs that should be addressed to Europe, France, and the tricolor, is the same thought, the same prestige, even terror, if necessary, for our enemies! The blood that you would have to do for another flag fame! Citizens, for me, the red flag, I do not adopt it, and I will tell you why I am against all the force of my patriotism, visited the world with the Republic and the Empire with its freedoms and its glory, and the red flag around the Champ-de-Mars, dragged in the sang Re of the people. ”

After the overthrow of Napoleon III, voters elected a realistic majority in the National Assembly of the new Third Republic. This parliament offered the throne to the Pretender of the Bourbons, Henri, Count of Chambord. However, he insisted that he would only accept the throne if the tricolor flag were replaced by the white flag. As the tricolor flag had become a precious national symbol, this demand proved impossible to satisfy. Plans to restore the monarchy have been postponed and finally abandoned, and France has remained a republic, with the tricolor, ever since.

The Vichy regime, which lowered the word “republic” to “the French state,” maintains the use of the tricolor, but Philippe Pétain was used as a standard personal version of the brand with the white band, an ax made with the Staff of a Star Warrior. This ax is called “Francisque” in reference to the old ax to launch Frank. During this same period, the Free French Forces used a tricolor with, on the white band, 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.

Tri-color France flag 1790 to 1794 :-

French tri color was first adopted in 1794, color of France flag had been inspired from several different banners and cockades,  the specific cockades were circular rosette-like emblems attached to the hat. The Paris militia adopted a blue and red cockade. Blue and red were the traditional colors of Paris, and they are used on the city’s coat of arms.he blue and red cockade was presented to King Louis XVI . At first a tricolor French flag with vertical red, white and blue stripes was approved by the Constituent Assembly on 24 October 1790.


flag of paris from French flag has been adopted

Flag of Paris from which French tri color has been adopted

Tri-color cockade from which French flag has been adopted

The tricolor cockade, designed in July 1789. White was added to “nationalize” an earlier blue and red design.




Flag used by the Kingdom of France and the First French Republic from 1790 to 1794.

French tri-color flag from 1794 to 1815 :-

The order of colors was reversed from red-white-blue to blue-white-red which is also the current design of France flag, this was done by a resolution passed on 15 February 1794. Despite its official status, the tricolor flag of France was rarely used during the revolution.

Current French flag

Reversed flag of France in 1794

Kingdom of France flag 1815-1830:-

Napoleon was defeated in 1815 and Bourbon Dynasty was restored in France. because tricolor represents the revolutionary ideas so it had been replaced by a plain white flag, the pre-revolutionary flag. However after the July Revolution of 1830, the “citizen-king”, Louis-Philippe, restored the tricolor, and it has remained France’s national flag since that time

French flag during kingdom of france

French flag from 1830 to till date:-

French flag has been restored in 1830 and remains same till now.

Current French flag

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