French Flag Facts

The flag of France features three vertical bands of three colors: blue, white, and red, and was adopted after the French Revolution. It in known as the “Le drapeau tricolore”

The tricolor was adopted in the French Revolution and added to the Paris militia’s traditional cockade of blue and red.

The cockade was part of the uniform of the National Guard, which was led by Lafayette. The colors and design of the cockade became the basis of the Tricolour flag.

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French Flag Flag Facts for Kids

  • It’s also known as the “Le Drapeau Tricolore.”
  • The tricolor was adopted in the French Revolution
  • First adopted in 1790, the flag’s colors were red, white, and blue
  • In 1794, the tricolor became the official flag of France
  • It represents the three estates of the Ancien Régime, namely the clergy, nobility, and the bourgeoisie.


A lighter version of the French flag was introduced, but President Emmanuel Macron reverted to using a darker hue for the presidential Élysée Palace in 2020 without any statement or orders for other institutions to use a specific version.

The French flag is 2:3 in width and has stripes of equal width, except in the French Navy, where the blue, white, and red stripes are in the proportion 30:33:37.


The French national flag is composed of several colors, blue and red, the traditional colors of Paris, and a white stripe that was added to the “revolutionary” colors of the militia cockade to “nationalize” the design.

The French flag is a color representation of the three main estates of the Ancien Régime, namely the clergy, nobility, and the bourgeoisie.

Lafayette’s cockade of France, a tricolor made up of white and red, was adopted in July 1789.

The French flag consists of three colors, white being the color of the king and blue and red being the colors of Paris.


During the early Middle Ages, a red banner with two, three, or five spikes were used in the French royal household.

During the Middle Ages, the colors blue with gold fleur-de-lis were associated with the ruling house of France.

During the Hundred Years’ War, different armies had different flags: England used a red cross, Burgundy a red saltire, and France a white cross.

Joan of Arc’s flag was sprinkled with lilies, painted with angels, and had a text reading “JHESUS MARIA.”

After the accession of the Bourbons to the throne of France, the French Navy flew a white banner with 86 Fleur-de-lis and their Coat of Arms.

The Tricolore

The tricolor flag was adopted as part of the uniform of the National Guard, the French police force that succeeded the militia and was used during the French Revolution.

The design of the Tricolore was changed to blue-white-red in 1794.

The tricolor had been replaced by a white flag, but Louis-Philippe restored it after the July Revolution of 1830.

Following the overthrow of Napoleon III, the Bourbon pretender insisted on restoring the monarchy, but his demands on replacing the flag proved impossible to accommodate.

The Vichy régime used a red, white, and blue flag that had a star-studded marshal’s baton as the white stripe, and the French republic used a white stripe with a red Cross of Lorraine.