Flag of France What is known about the French flag and what is its significance to the history of the other world flags? Find out more about the Flag of France, from the colours to the inspirations.

Learn more about the French Flag

The French flag has something in common with a lot of other flags its color. The red, white, and blue tricolor combination is used in many world flags from state to country, but each one stands out in its own way. The simplistic nature of the French flag colours and design are meaningful to the country and its inhabitants, as is the history.

French Flag Design

The French flag is pretty simple, no pictures or images of any kind. Its just the tricolor band featuring blue, white, and red vertical stripes in that order. Many flags have similar designs and many more feature those same colors. There was a darker version of the flag, but it was replaced and each band is of equal width, except in the Navy which uses the national ensign variant flag of France that has a proportion of 30:33:37.

French Flag Colours

What do the colours of the French flag represent? The blue and the red are actually the traditional colours of Paris and are in the coat of arms. Saint Martin is the inspiration for the Blue and Saint Denis the red. The blue and red are also associated with the Virgin Mary. White had long been in the history of the flags of France and was officially added to make the design more national. It can either be identified with the monarchy or the nation as suggested by Marquis de Lafayette (the designer) and those from Orleans take to the notion that the red and white referenced the livery of the Duc dOrleans.

The French flag colors each have a special meaning:
  • Blue means vigilance, loyalty, truth, justice, and perseverance.
  • Red means strength, hardiness, valour, and bravery.
  • White means honesty and peace.
The French flag meanings are many and vary according to which train of thought and what area of France an individual is from.

French Flag History

There are many stories as to exactly what inspired the French flag design. Marquis de Lafayette is accredited with the national design in 1789 and it was officially adopted by the French National Convention in 1794.

The flag came from the requirements of the military that needed a way to identify each regime. It started with painted shields and moved to carrying a pole and then finally a pole with some sort of identifying device attached.

In the Middle Ages, the flag of Saint Denis (the oriflamme) was used which was red with either 2, 3, or 5 spikes. France maps usually show the French flag and old world maps show some of the regional flags of France.

The French flag has changed over time and was adopted from wartime rituals. The French flag has different meanings, but its aim is to represent the royalty and the state of the people. The old maps of France are a good place to find the regional wartime flags previously used.

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