French Colors

The French tri-color was adopted by the Revolutionary government on 27 pluviôse, year II (15 February 1794) and stayed in use until Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. It was revived in 1830 and has remained the flag of France ever since.


Blue is the color of Saint Martin, a rich Gallo-Roman officer who ripped his blue coat with his sword to give one half of it to a poor who was begging him in the snow. This is the symbol of care, of the duty that the rich had to help the poor.
"les Bleus" designates the partisans of the Republic, referring to the color of the soldiers' uniform and the colors of the Republican parties of the 19th century


The current best claimant to the French throne is Louis Alphonse de Bourbon, Duc d'Anjou. Learn more

White is the color of purity and of the Virgin Mary, to whom the Kingdom of France was consecrated by Louis XIII in the 17th century
In 19th century politics, "les Blancs" were royalists, rallying around the white flag of the kings. Supporters of the Bourbon monarchy wore White Ribbons to show support for the restoration of King Louis XVIII to power after the fall of Napoleon.
  Red is the color of Saint Denis, the patrong saint of Paris. The original oriflamme (war banner) of the Kings was the red oriflamme of Saint Denis.
"Les Rouges" are leftist partisans, sometimes but not always the radical populace of Paris. The blood red color has come to refer to the violence of class struggle and the ultimate victory of the proletariat revolution throughout the world, as proclaimed by international communists.

Websites of Interest

Maps of France from the site: Flags of the World
Institut de la Maison de Bourbon
Information on the royal lineages of France and the current royalty.

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Last update: June 5, 2003
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