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The Tricolore

From the accession of the Bourbons to the throne of France, the green ensign of the navy became a plain white flag, the symbol of purity and royal authority. The merchant navy was assigned "the old flag of the nation of France", the white cross on a blue field. The tricolour flag is derived from the cockades used during the French Revolution. These were circular rosette-like emblems attached to the hat. Camille Desmoulins asked his followers to wear green cockades on 12 July 1789. The Paris militia, formed on 13 July, adopted a blue and red cockade. Blue and red are the traditional colours of Paris, and they are used on the city's coat of arms. Cockades with various colour schemes were used during the storming of the Bastille on 14 July.[7] The blue and red cockade was presented to King Louis XVI at the Hotel de Ville on 17 July.[1] Lafayette argued for the addition of a white stripe to "nationalise" the design.[1] On 27 July, a tricolour cockade was adopted as part of the uniform of the National Guard, the national police force that succeeded the militia.[8] A drapeau tricolore with vertical red, white and blue stripes was approved by the Constituent Assembly on 24 October 1790. Simplified designs were used to illustrate how the revolution had broken with the past. The order was reversed to blue-white-red, the current design, by a resolution passed on 15 February 1794. Despite its official status, the tricolore was rarely used during the revolution. Instead, the red flag of the Jacobin Club, symbolizing d fiance and national emergency, was flown. The tricolore was restored to prominence under Napoleon. When the Bourbon dynasty was restored following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the tricoloreówith its revolutionary connotationsówas replaced by a white flag, the pre-revolutionary naval flag. However, following the July Revolution of 1830, the "citizen-king", Louis-Philippe, restored the tricolore, and it has remained France's national flag since that time. Following the overthrow of Napoleon III, voters elected a royalist majority to the National Assembly of the new Third Republic. This parliament then offered the throne to the Bourbon pretender, Henri, comte de Chambord. However, he insisted that he would accept the throne only on the condition that the tricolour be replaced by the white flag. As the tricolour had become a cherished national symbol, this demand proved impossible to accommodate. Plans to restore the monarchy were adjourned and ultimately dropped, and France has remained a republic, with the tricolour flag, ever since. The Vichy regime, which dropped the word "republic" in favour of "the French state", maintained the use of the tricolore but Philippe Petain used a version of the flag defaced with fasces and stars as his personal standard. This flag is called the "Francisque". During this same period, Free French Forces used a tricolore defaced with a red Cross of Lorraine. The constitutions of 1946 and 1958 instituted the "blue, white, and red" flag as the national emblem of the Republic.