Flag facts

Flag facts

The design and description of the tricolor uses specific flag terminology. In this article you will find many curious facts you may not know about flag of France and its etiquette.


According to Ancient and Heraldic traditions much symbolism is associated with colors. The colors of the French flag represent the following: white – peace and honesty; red – hardiness, bravery, strength and valor; blue – vigilance, truth and loyalty, perseverance and justice.

The three vertical colored bands were not always of equal width, and on the French naval jack they are still not of equal width. The idea is that unequal bands can look more equal than genuinely equal ones when the flag is flying. Whether or not it works in real life, is difficult to tell – it certainly does not work well for flat surfaces.

Interesting facts

Here are some other interesting facts about flag of France.

  • The design and description of the tricolor uses specific flag terminology based on Heraldic principles.
  • It is hoisted to half of the potential height of the flagpole to denote grief and mourning.
  • The French flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
  • It should be hoisted first and lowered last.
  • Flag etiquette is very strict and it is important that all the rules are followed correctly.
  • Distress is denoted by flying the French flag upside-down.
  • The French flag (as many other flags) should never be allowed to drag along the ground.
  • When it is no longer in use or looks mistreated, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning it in private with all due care and respect.

Today, the French flag can be seen on all public buildings. It is flown on the occasion of national commemorations, and it is honored according to a very precisely-defined ceremonial. The French flag frequently serves as a backdrop when the French President addresses the public. Depending on the circumstances, it may be accompanied by the European flag or the flag of another country.


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