National emblem of France

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Emblem of the French Republic
Armoiries république française.svg
Armiger French Republic
Adopted 1912 (1953)
Escutcheon Or, the letters R and F conjoined Or.

The current Emblem of France has been a symbol of France since 1953, 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 in 1912 using a design by the sculptor Jules-Clément Chaplain.

In 1953, France received a request from the United Nations for a copy of the 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:

In September 1999, the French government adopted a unique official identifier for its communication, incorporating the Republic's motto, the colours of the flag, and Marianne, the Republic's personification.


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, 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.

Coat of arms Description and blazon Dates used
Oriflamme.png Flags and coats of arms based on this banner were mostly used during the Early Middle Ages and medieval times of the Carolingian Empire, first introduced by Charles the Great. Oriflamme (from Latin aurea flamma, "golden flame") was the battle standard of the Kings of France. It was originally the sacred banner of the Abbey of St. Denis, a monastery near Paris. Frankish Empire
Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien).svg The arms of "France Ancien": Azure semé-de-lis or Before 1305
Arms of the Kingdom of France & Navarre (Ancien).svg Arms of France Ancien dimidiated with the arms of Navarre, used by Kings Louis X and Charles IV. 1305–1328
Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien).svg The arms of "France Ancien": Azure semé-de-lis or 1328–1376
Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne).svg The arms of "France Moderne": Azure, three fleurs-de-lis or, a simplified version of France Ancien 1376–1515
File:Coat of Arms of Kingdom of France.svg The arms of France Moderne with a closed royal crown and the collar of the Order of the Holy Spirit. 1515–1589
Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France & Navarre.svg 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
Grandes Armes Impériales (1804-1815)2.svg 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
Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France.svg After the restoration the royal house of Bourbon once more assumed the French crown. 1814/1815–1830
Coat of Arms of the July Monarchy (1830-31).svg During the July Monarchy the arms of the House of Orléans were used. 1830–1831
Coat of Arms of the July Monarchy (1831-48).svg From 1831 onward, the arms of Louis-Philippe were used, depicting the Charter of 1830. 1831–1848
Imperial Coat of Arms of France (1804-1815).svg The arms of the Second French Empire of Napoleon III, again featuring an eagle. 1852–1870
Francecoatofarms1898-2.png Unofficial
Informal arms were created for the French Third Republic featuring fasces on a laurel branch and an oak branch in saltire.
Informal emblem of the French State (1940–1944).svg Unofficial
Emblem of Philippe Pétain, chief of state of the French State (Vichy France), featuring the motto Travail, Famille, Patrie (Work, Family, Fatherland). The Francisque was only Pétain's personal emblem but was also gradually used as the regime's informal emblem on official documents.
Coat of arms of France (UN variant).png Unofficial
This composition - already appeared furtively porch of the residence of King Alfonso during his official visit to France in 1905 - in 1922 reappears on the board for the realization of a tapestry on "Weapons of France" we[who?] had to install the Commissioner General of the Republic Strasbourg Carton Gustave Jaulmes,[clarification needed] German Encyclopedias give a color reproduction in 1928. On 10, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responds with a note to the German Embassy, who wanted to know the official coat of arms of the Republic. The 1935 edition of New Oxford Dictionary reproduced in black and white this composition as a symbol of the French Republic. It was taken by Robert Louis[disambiguation needed] at the request of an interministerial committee, which met on the 3 June 1953, in order to meet the request of the Secretariat of the UN who wanted to adorn the assembly hall panels reproducing the official coat of arms of each Member State. It is still found in black and white, in the 1962 edition of the Grand Larousse Encyclopaedia.
1898/1953-?[citation needed]
Armoiries république française.svg Unofficial
Informal arms dating from 1912, reintroduced during the presidency of Jacques Chirac (1995–2007) and still used.

See also