You have probably seen the flag of France more than once. Do you want to know its meaning? What does this flag represent? One of the most important elements that we will find in a nation is, without a doubt, its flag.

In the case of the flag of France, this fact is no exception, so if you want to go into detail about the value of French symbols as a distinctive of its interesting culture and history, do not miss the meaning of this flag. 

If you have ever considered traveling or living in France, whether for work, studies, exchange programs, or other reasons, knowing the main elements that distinguish the French nation will make your adaptation process much easier and more enriching. 

Are you ready to learn the secrets behind the flag of France in-depth? Let’s go for it! 

Table of contents

History of the Flag of France

As we know it today, the flag of France was used for the first time, as an insignia, by King Louis XVI a few days after the Storming of the Bastille in 1789, which would start the French Revolution.

Its colors and design were an inspiration from the Marquis de Lafayette, a French military man, aristocrat, and politician known as “The Hero of the Two Worlds” due to his service achievements to France the United States. 

However, the flag of France was not officially born at the same time as the French Revolution on July 14, 1789, but rather a year later, in September 1790, when the colors were declared the emblem of the French nation. 

Despite this, the French tricolor flag would not obtain the expected consensus until decades later, so throughout the time of political instability, the monarchists continued to bet on using a white flag as a flag before the new restoration of the tricolor symbol. 

Only after the establishment of the Third Republic, the long-awaited consensus on the use of the tricolor ensued. This emblem enjoyed great international visibility for the first time during the First World War. 

Finally, in the French Constitution of 1946 and 1958, the tricolor flag obtained the official insignia of the French Republic. 

Parts of the Flag of France: What is its meaning?

As you know, the flag of France consists of a simple and tricolor design, composed of three vertical stripes of equal size in the order of blue, white, and red.

As with most flags, the motif behind the colors is not chosen at random. These are some meanings and origins allusive to the parts of the French flag:

Blue and red

When the Marquis de Lafayette designed the French flag as we know it today, he took into account blue and red as colors that were already present on the flag of Paris and have traditionally been symbols of the famous French capital and the French National Guard. 

From their original meaning in the Parisian flag, these colors referred to equality (in the case of blue) and to the bloodshed by the soldiers who defended the French homeland during conflicts and wars (in the case of red). 


The central white that appears on the flag of France has long been associated with the monarchy. In general, the white color in politics is linked to the monarchical movement because of its origin from the Royal Pavilion of France.

Today, for many, it is nothing more than a representative symbol of the value of freedom that the French attribute to their country.

5 curiosities about the Flag of France 🇫🇷

If you are a curious person and never settle for just knowing the basics, here are some curious facts about the flag of France that will surely surprise more than one: 

  • The French flag has not been out of controversy. For many citizens, the tricolor caused rejection for using colors similar to the English and Dutch flags. In addition, the white color associated with the Bourbons was not pleasant for the most critical.
  • Destroying a French flag in any public space is completely punishable by law
  • The French tricolor has international influence, to the point that many tricolor flags inspire or adapt their designs based on the flag of France. According to historians, its influence may have something to do with the famous canvas “Liberty Leading the People”, an artistic work by Eugène Delacroix dedicated to the Revolution of 1830.
  • Regarding the tricolor, some theories attribute the election of Lafayette to his proximity and fight for independence in American lands. It is not ruled out that the aristocrat may have been inspired by the three colors of the United States 🇺🇸
  • After the final fall of the monarchical system in France, the color white for many was also attributed to Saint Joan of Arc, nationally esteemed in France for her heroic role during the final phase of the Hundred Years War.

Final words  on the flag of France

As you can see, much of the culture and history that has led a country to be what we know today is represented by its distinctive flag. 

Download flag of France

By now, you probably know more interesting details around the French flag than you had in mind at the beginning, so now it is your turn to share the knowledge with the rest or use this information to your advantage to be prepared for any academic challenge. , professional or immigration. 

There is nothing more satisfying than getting caught up in the culture of the countries that capture our attention. If, in your case, you have a special interest in France, we hope that learning about its flag will help you to know more about this dream destination for millions of young people around the world. 

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