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The French Flag

French Flag

Information about the Flag of France

The French flag has three colors in equal vertical stripes – blue, white and red. When hanging the French flag, the blue should go to the left, or closest to the flag pole. Here are some quick facts about the French flag, should you find yourself with nothing to say at a cocktail party at the French Embassy:

  • The color scheme dates back to the Middle Ages, and the tricolor band is seen as early as the 14th century, in a painting of the King of France.
  • In French, drapeau is the word for flag. How do you say “French flag” in French? Drapeau français (drop-oh frahn-say).
  • Tech geek alert! The HTML colors for the French flag are as follows: Blue, #0055A4; White, #FFFFFF; Red, #EF4135.

Quick, Quirky, Fun Facts About France

  • It’s called L’Hexagone, after its hexagonal shape, and Marianne, after an iconic symbol of the Revolution.
  • The term “Metropolitan France” refers to what we know as France including Corsica, but excluding foreign territories such as French Polynesia and Martinique, which are known collectively as “Overseas France.”
  • France is about the size of Texas, but if you took France’s coast and laid it out in a line, it would stretch from coast to coast of America.
  • France is the world’s number-one tourist destination, and EuroDisney its most visited site.

France’s Contribution to American Culture

  • The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France in 1886.
  • The layout of Washington, D.C. was designed by Frenchman Pierre L’Enfant.
  • Denim, the fabric jeans are made of, gets its name from Nîmes, where it was invented (“de Nîmes,” deh-neem). The word jeans comes from bleu de Gênes, a French phrase describing their color, or “Genoa blue.”
  • Auguste and Louis Lumière invented the motion picture camera in 1895, and were the first people in the world to show movies to a public, paying audience.
  • “Bra” comes from the French word brassière, meaning harness. We also can thank the French for the bustier, corset, négligée, camisole and other lingerie.