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National emblem of France

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-Clement 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 (19021965), 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. Technically, it is an emblem rather than a coat of arms, since it does not follow heraldic rules. It consists of: A wide shield with, on the one end a lion-head and on the other an eagle-head, bearing a monogram "RF" standing for Republique Francaise (French Republic). A laurel branch symbolises victory of the Republic. An oak branch

ymbolises perennity or wisdom. The fasces, a symbol associated with justice (the bundle of rods and an axe, carried by Roman lictors). This use of the fasces predates the adoption of this symbol by Benito Mussolini as the emblem of Italian Fascism. 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. History 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 thirteenth century. First shown in seme, that is to say without definite number and staggered, they are reduced to three in 1376. 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.