Le Tricolor. The Flag of France.

The flag of France is the Tricolor. The original use of the three color flag dates back to 1789.

The colors were used to represent a good relation between the King and the city of Paris.

French Flag

It was meant to be Paris re-conquered by its King.

The color white represents the royalty and the blue and red colors were to be the arms of the city.

The French National Convention adopted the tricolor flag as the national flag in February 1794.

At that time, the blue was to be the color of Saint Martin.

Saint Martin was a Gallo-Roman officer who ripped his blue coat with his sword. He gave one half of it to the poor.

This is meant to be a symbol of care and of the duty that the rich had to help the poor.

The white color is for the Virgin Mary.

Louis XIII consecrated the Kingdom of France to the Virgin Mary in the 17th century.

It is also the color of Joan of Arc, who managed to drive out the British in the 15th century.

It soon became the color of the Royalty.

During this time the King’s vessels, all carried a plain white flag.

Red is the color of Saint Denis who is the patron saint of Paris.

Today, the tricolor flag of France flies over all public buildings.

It is flown on days of national commemorations, and it is honored according to a very precisely defined ceremonial.

The French flag is the backdrop for the French President whenever he addresses the public.

History of the Tricolor - Flag of France

In 1523, France entered the race for New World territories.

Giovanni de Verrazano was their first explorer and sailed off the coast of Florida.

He then sailed north along the eastern coast. France used Verrazano's exploration to stake a claim to much of North American

In 1562, France erected a stone marker with the French coat of arms claiming what is now Florida.

A second expedition of Huguenots arrived two years later.

The French flag consisted of three gold fleurs-de-lis on a blue background. It flew in today’s Georgia coastal waters.

In 1604, the field of the French flag was changed from blue to white.

The tricolor flag of France was used as an emblem of the Fifth Republic.

In the early days of the French Revolution, the three colors were initially brought together in the form of a cockade.

In July 1789, a militia was formed and its distinctive sign was a two-color cockade made up of the ancient colors of Paris, blue and red.

On July, Louis XVI came to Paris to recognize the new National Guard.

This blue and red cockade had royal white added.

The Tricolor flag of France was created in 1790.

This flag had the colors reversed from what they are today.

The red was at the hoist, white in the center and blue on the fly side.

The colors were revised and reversed in 1794 to the modern form.

The law passed in February 1794 to establish the tricolor flag as the national flag.

Throughout the 19th century, the blue flag with three gold fleurs-de-lis of the royalist was often seen instead of the tricolor flag.

During the Revolution of 1848, the provisional Government re-adopted the tricolor.

Still many people who operated the barricades often flew a red flag to signal their revolt.

From 1880 onwards, the presentation of the colors to the armed forces each July 14 came to be a moment of high patriotic emotion.

The constitutions of 1946 and 1958 instituted the "blue, white and red" flag as the national emblem of the Republic of France.

Today, the French flag can be seen on all public buildings and on national commemorations.

by Linda Chambers

In addition to the flag of France you can learn loads of stats & facts on France

More information on France
France Information & Statistics | Learn to speak French Language in France | French History | Franec Maps |
More flags of French-speaking countries
Andorra’s flag | Belgium’s flag | Benin’s flag | Burkina Faso’s flag | Burundi’s flag | Cambodia’s flag | Cameroon’s flag | Canada’s flag | Central African Republic’s flag | Chad’s flag | Congo’s flag | Cote d'Ivoire’s flag | Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire)’s flag | Djibouti’s flag | France’s flag | French Guiana’s flag | French Polynesia’s flag | Gabon’s flag | Guadeloupe’s flag | Guinea’s flag | Haiti’s flag | Laos’s flag | Lebanon’s flag | Luxembourg’s flag | Mali’s flag | Martinique’s flag | Mauritania’s flag | Mauritius’s flag | Mayotte’s flag | Monaco’s flag | Morocco’s flag | New Caledonia’s flag | Niger’s flag | Republic of Madagascar’s flag | Reunion’s flag | Rwanda’s flag | Saint Pierre and Miquelon’s flag | Senegal’s flag | Seychelles’s flag | Switzerland’s flag | Tunisia’s flag | Vanuatu’s flag | Vietnam’s flag | Wallis and Futuna’s flag | Zaire’s flag |
Le Tricolor - Flag of France. Red, white and blue
Learn French Help – A Resource for the those Learning to speak French

32 Alverton, Great Linford, Milton Keynes, MK14 5EF, United Kingdom

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pass it on. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.


Custom Search


Get French lessons and verbs emailed direct to you free

Get lots of useful French lessons and French verbs sent to you each week free by email, from the 200 Words a Day accelerated language learning team. Great for learning, review and consolidating your French knowledge.

Yes, send me my free Learn French newsletters. My details are:


Your privacy is important to us. We do not sell our mailing lists.