Where does the blue in the French flag come from?

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Anything Blue review – Why the blue in the French Flag? Story of the Tricolour (late 18th, early 19th century)

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Many think the French flag and national motto work hand in hand: Bleu, Blanc, Rouge for Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. But actually, it’s to Paris that the French owe the 2 coloured stripes firmly holding the white center in the ‘Drapeau Tricolore’.

Blue and red are the traditional colors of the French capital (the cockade). The white flag, emblem of the French Monarchy, turns blue and red on its borders after the Revolution.

Non, blue does not originally represent liberty, nor red fraternity: the colors symbolize the People surrounding the King, the revolutionary Parisians marching on the royal city of Versailles.

However, if the flag is a heritage from the French Revolution, back then the colours were reversed: Red, White, Blue (instead of Blue, White, Red today). Why? The answer is in a painting by Neoclassic painter Jacques-Louis David.

All in all, the French flag is blue for Paris, the heart of the French Revolution, so maybe indirectly for Liberty as well.

Find more about the French Flag and the French Revolution on Wikipedia below:

‘Early in the French Revolution, the Paris militia, which played a prominent role in the storming of the Bastille, wore a cockade of blue and red, the city’s traditional colours. According to Lafayette, white, the ‘ancient French colour’, was added to the militia cockade to create a tricolour, or national, cockade. […] The colours and design of the cockade are the basis of the Tricolour flag, adopted in 1790.

The only difference was that the 1790 flag’s colours were reversed.

A modified design by Jacques-Louis David was adopted in 1794. The royal white flag was used during the Bourbon restoration from 1815 to 1830; the tricolour was brought back into use after the July Revolution and has been used ever since.’


Read more about the
Flag of France @Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Illustration: Blue Paris by neslirawles@DeviantArt selected by MonsterActive blog