Original French Third Republic Late 19th Century to Early WWI Era Silk Tricolor National - 94” x 64”

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice Original French Pre to Early WWI era Tricolor National flag measuring approximately 57 ½” x 96”. The flag looks to be made of open woven wool, and each color is made of one panel of fabric, all sewn together. The most interesting feature is on the center as it displays a lovely wreathed insignia of the French République Française (French Republic) “FR” insignia.

Condition is good, especially considering the age, with the colors retained well. There is some age toning and tearing, but that is to be expected of a flag that saw service. However it still presents beautifully.

Ready to add to your early flag collection!

The national flag of France is a tricolor flag featuring three vertical bands coloured blue (hoist side), white, and red. It is known to English speakers as the Tricolor (French:
Tricolore), although the flag of Ireland and others are also so known. The design was adopted after the French Revolution; while not the first tricolor, it became one of the most influential flags in history. The tricolor scheme was later adopted by many other nations in Europe and elsewhere, and, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica has historically stood "in symbolic opposition to the autocratic and clericalist royal standards of the past".

Before the tricolor was adopted the royal government used many flags, the best known being a blue shield and gold fleur-de-lis (the Royal Arms of France) on a white background, or state flag. 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 colors. According to French general Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, white was the "ancient French color" and was added to the militia cockade to form a tricolor, or national, cockade of France.

This cockade became part of the uniform of the National Guard, which succeeded the militia and was commanded by Lafayette. The colors and design of the cockade are the basis of the Tricolor flag, adopted in 1790, originally with the red nearest to the flagpole and the blue farthest from it. 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 tricolor was brought back after the July Revolution and has been used since then, except for an interruption for a few days in 1848. Since 1976, there have been two versions of the flag in varying levels of use by the state: the original (identifiable by its use of navy blue) and one with a lighter shade of blue. Since 2020, France has used the older variant by default, including at the Élysée Palace.

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