The French Motto
The French Motto of the Republic is "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity/Brotherhood" (Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité)
During the French Revolution 1787-1799, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" was one of many mottos used by revolutionaries to unite and inspire them.
In the late 19th Century, the 3rd French Republic adopted the ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity to become their motto. It is a tripartite motto, consisting of three words / ideas.
Liberty, Equality and Fraternity - for all French citizens.
Robespierre advocated in a speech on the organization of the National Guards (in December 1790) that the words "The French People" and "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" be written on uniforms and flags, but his proposal was rejected.
From 1793 onwards, the words "Unity, indivisibility of the Republic; liberty, equality or death" could be seen painted on the façades of Parisian houses. People in other cities soon followed suit, but the removed the word death, as it invoked memories of the Terror (The Terror was the most bloody time of the Revolution with mass executions taking place either by firing squads, cannon fire or guillotine).
For the celebrations on 14 July 1880, the motto was re-inscribed on the triangular gables of public buildings.
During the Third Republic, the familiar motto became finally established and written into Constitutions of 1958, 1946 and 1958. Today it is often seen on everyday items such as postage stamps and coins.
After having learnt about the French Motto, check out info on the French National Day
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