French Flag

Symbols of the French Republic

The main symbols of the Republic share the same revolutionary origins. The national motto "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity", the national day on 14 July, the Marseillaise, the national anthem, the three-coloured flag, the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights of 1789 and Marianne were born symbolically at the time of the French Revolution, representing a break from the Old Regime and its symbols ("fleur de lys", white and gold flag etc.). As for the cockerel, its association with French symbolism comes from the Latin Gallus, which means both cockerel and Gaul.

Marianne and the motto of the RepublicMarianne and the motto of the Republic

Marianne is the embodiment of the French Republic. Marianne represents the permanent values that found her citizens’ attachment to the Republic: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity".

Bastille DayBastille Day

Commemorating the storming of the Bastille on 14th July 1789, Bastille Day takes place on the same date each year. The main event is a grand military parade along the Champs-Élysées, attended by the President of the Republic and other political leaders. It is accompanied by fireworks and dances in towns throughout the whole of France.

The MarseillaiseThe Marseillaise

The Marseillaise is the patriotic hymn of the French Revolution, officially adopted by France as its national anthem in 1879.

French flagThe French Flag

The "tricolour" (three-colour) flag is an emblem of the Fifth Republic. It had its origins in the union, at the time of the French Revolution, of the colours of the King (white) and the City of Paris (blue and red). Today, the "tricolour" flies over all public buildings. It is flown at most official ceremonies, both civil and military.

The Gallic RoosterThe Gallic rooster

The Latin word Gallus means both "rooster" and "inhabitant of Gaul". Certain ancient coins bore a rooster, but the animal was not yet used as the emblem of the tribes of Gaul. Gradually the figure of the rooster became the most widely shared representation of the French people.

Secularism and religious freedomSecularism and religious freedom

A fundamental value and essential principle of the Republic, secularism is a French invention.


Republic's anniversaryRepublic's 150 years

On 4 September 2020, France celebrated its Republic's 150th anniversary.

Coming to France

Make sure to find out the relevant information to make your arrival and stay in France as easy as possible. If you are not an EU, ... [Read more]
15 July 2014