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National emblem of France

  (Redirected from Coat of arms of France)

This article outlines current and historical national emblems of France, including heraldic coats of arms, first employed in the Middle Ages, as well as more recent, unofficial non- or quasi-heraldic emblems.

Coat of arms of the
French Republic
Coat of arms of the French Republic.svg
Arms of the French Republic.svg
ArmigerFrench Republic[1]
BlazonAzure, a Fasces surrounded by on the dexter, a wreath of laurel, and to the sinister, a wreath of Oak, over all a ribbon bearing the motto Liberté, égalité, fraternité, all Or.
Order(s)Collar of the Legion of Honour
(1953 version)
National coat of arms (left) displayed on the Church of Saint Nicholas of the Lorrainers in Rome, dedicated to France
Disks in the United Nations General Assembly hall for which France submitted its heraldic device.[3] The disks were removed in 1956.[4][5]
A French diplomatic emblem, adopted in 1912 and depicted on current French passports

The French Republic currently uses two emblems:

  • In 1953, France received a request from the United Nations for a copy of a national coat of arms to be displayed alongside the coats of arms of other member states in its assembly chamber. An interministerial commission requested Robert Louis (1902–1965), heraldic artist, to produce a version of the Chaplain design. This did not, however, constitute an adoption of an official coat of arms by the Republic. It consists of: 1) A wide shield with, on the one end, a lion-head and on the other an eagle-head, bearing a monogram "RF" standing for République Française (French Republic). 2) An olive branch symbolises peace. 3) An oak branch symbolises perennity or wisdom. 4) The fasces, a symbol associated with the exercise of justice (the bundle of rods and an axe were carried by Roman lictors); this use of the fasces predates the adoption of this symbol by Benito Mussolini as the emblem of Italian Fascism.
  • One has been a symbol of France since 1912, although it does not have any legal status as an official coat of arms. It appears on the cover of French passports and was adopted originally by the French Foreign Ministry as a symbol for use by diplomatic and consular missions using a design by the sculptor Jules-Clément Chaplain.

Fleur de Lys, a popular symbol during monarchical times, today used mostly by overseas people of French heritage, like the Acadians, Québécois or Cajuns.


Heraldic armsEdit

Period Escutcheon Greater version (with achievement) Description and blazon Dates used
Kingdom     The arms of France Ancient: Azure semé-de-lis or The historical coat of arms of France were the golden fleurs-de-lys on a blue field, used continuously for nearly six centuries (1211-1792). Although according to legend they originated at the baptism of Clovis, who supposedly replaced the three toads that adorned his shield with three lilies given by an angel, they are first documented only from the early 13th century. They were first shown as semé, that is to say without any definite number and staggered (known as France ancient), but in 1376 they were reduced to three, (known as France modern). With this decision, King Charles V intended to place the kingdom under the double invocation of the Virgin (the lily is a symbol of Mary), and the Trinity, for the number. The traditional supporters of the French royal arms are two angels, sometimes wearing a heraldic dalmatic. Before 1305
    Arms of France Ancient dimidiated with the arms of Navarre, after king Louis X inherited Navare from his mother Joan I of Navarre in 1305. 1305–1328
    The arms of France Ancient: Azure semé-de-lis or. After the death of the last direct Capetian in 1328, the kingdom of France passed to the house of Valois through the Salic law, and Navarre passed to the house of Evreux through female line. 1328–1376
    The arms of France Modern: Azure, three fleurs-de-lis or, a simplified version of France Ancient 1376–1469
  The arms of France Modern. After the creation of the Order of Saint Michael in 1469, its collar was added to the royal arms. 1469–1515
  The arms of France Modern. King Francis I changed the open crown traditionally used by his predecessors for a closed one. 1515–1578
  The arms of France Modern. After the creation of the Order of the Holy Spirit in 1578, its collar was added to the royal arms. 1578–1589
    The royal arms of the Kingdom of France after the conclusion of the French Wars of Religion. Again the arms of the Kingdom of Navarre impaled with France Moderne, indicating the personal union of the two realms as a result of Henry IV becoming king. 1589–1792
    Alternative Royal Arms of France. 1790–1792
First Republic     Putative heraldic emblem of the First French Republic 1791–1804
First Empire     The arms of the First French Empire of Napoleon I, featuring an eagle and inset with "golden bees" as in the tomb of King Childeric I. 1804–1814/1815
Kingdom (Bourbon Restoration)     After the Bourbon Restoration, the royal House of Bourbon once more assumed the French crown. 1814/1815–1830
Kingdom (July Monarchy)     During the July Monarchy, the arms of the House of Orléans were used. 1830–1831
    From 1831 onward, the arms of Louis-Philippe were used, depicting the Charter of 1830. 1831–1848
Second Empire     The arms of the Second French Empire of Napoleon III, again featuring an eagle. 1852–1870
Third, Fourth and Fifth Republic     This composition, which was briefly seen in 1905 during the official visit to France of King Alfonso XIII, reappeared in 1922 in a cartoon by Gustave Jaulmes for a tapestry to be displayed in Strasbourg. In 1929, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs replied to the German Embassy, which wanted to know the official coat of arms of the Republic, that, "there is no, in principle, official coat of arms or emblem," but that such a composition was used for the French embassies and consulates. The 1935 edition of Le Petit Larousse reproduced this composition in black and white as a symbol of the French Republic. In 1953, an inter-ministry committee chose it in order to meet the request of the United Nations Secretariat, which wanted to adorn the UN assembly hall with panels reproducing the official coats of arms of each member state.[6]

The escutcheon was surrounded by the 1881 version of the grand collar of the Legion of Honour.

1905–1953[citation needed]
  In this version the escutcheon is surrounded by the 1953 version of the grand collar of the Legion of Honour. 1953–present[7]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Les symboles de la République française". Site de la présidence de la République.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ File:Visites Mitterrand Chirac à l'hôtel de ville de Paris.jpg

External linksEdit