|Flag Name(s)||Drapeau Tricolore ("Tricolour Flag") [Flag Of France]|
|Color and Design|
A vertical tricolour of blue, white, and red.
|Meaning & Symbolism||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. White had long featured prominently on French flags and is described as the "ancient French colour" by Lafayette. Other popular but non-official interpretations include: The blue color symbolizes nobility, white represents clergy, and red means bourgeois, which were the estates of the old regime in France. When the Tricolour was formally adopted in 1794, its colors symbolized the values of the French Revolution: liberty, equality, brotherhood, democracy, secularism, and modernization. Today, that motto has been shortened to Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.|
|Description and Brief History|
The flag of France 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, and, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica has historically stood "in symbolic opposition to the autocratic and clericalist royal standards of the past".
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.
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