France Flag

France Flag

What does the flag of France look like? The French flag is made of three equal-sized vertical bands in blue, white, and red. It is known as the French Tricolor and is used as the national flag. The most recent version of France's flag was adopted in June 1976.

Meaning of the Flag

The colors of the flag of France have significant meaning behind them. The blue band represents Saint Martin, while the red band represents Saint Denis. These two colors have long been the traditional national colors and have been used on many of the previous versions of the national flag.

The colors of the flag have also been said to represent the estates of the Ancien Regime – the clergy, nobility and the bourgeoise. France’s government website states that the white represents the kind and the blue and red bands are representative of the colors of Paris. The colors blue and red also have ties to the patroness of France, the Virgin Mary.

Colors of the Flag

The flag of France features three colors: blue, white and red. As previously mentioned, these colors hold great significance for the country and have been used in previous versions of the flag as well as militia cockades.

The flag of France features a design of tricolor bands of that run vertically. Blue is located on the far left, white is located in the middle, and red is on the right. The blue band is the narrowest, while the red band is the widest of the three.

History of the Flag

France’s history of flags dates back to at least the Middle Ages when the flag of Saint Denis was used. It was during this time period when the colors of red and blue became associated with France. During the Hundred Years’ War, France’s flag featured a white cross with either a blue or red field. However, over time, it became standard for armies to use the blue field.

The modern tricolor flag was derived from military cockades used during the French Revolution. It was in 1790 when the simple design that has inspired France’s modern flag was adopted. Just four years later, however, changes were made to the flag. This was simply to reverse the order of the colors. However, even though it was the national flag, it was hardly used during the revolution, instead being replaced by the red flag of the Jacobin Club. However, the flag was restored under the rule of Napoleon.

This changed when Napoleon was defeated in 1815, and the tricolor flag was replaced with a white flag. This flag remained in use until Louis-Philippe restored the tri-color flag in 1830, where it remains unchanged to this day.

Flag Facts

Canadian provinces and territories that have communities of French-speaking residents have their own flags, many of which are inspired by the tricolor flag of France.

There are darker and lighter versions of the flag that are used equally. The lighter version is typically used on digital displays, including TVs and computers.

France’s flag is seen as one of the most influential in history and has inspired other flags of nations around the world.

Il Tricolore
Red, White, Blue
Designed by
Jacques-Louis David


Three proportionate vertical lines in the order of blue, white, and red moving from left to right
France Flag

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