French flag on the Glorious First of June

Discussion in 'Other Flags' started by Peter Ansoff, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Today is the anniversary of the Battle of the Glorious First of June, a naval engagement that was fought in 1794 between the fleets of Britain and Revolutionary France.

    This painting in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, UK:

    Large image

    shows the French battleship Ocean during the battle. Note the flag that she is flying on her mainmast. This is an early form of the French tricolor flag that was used for a short time at the beginning of the Revolution. It follows the British pattern of putting the national symbol (the red-white-blue tricolor) in the canton of a plain-colored flag. The old Royal ensign of France was plain white, and the Revolutionary navy added the tricolor canton. Note also that the bands of the tricolor are reversed from the modern French flag, with red rather than blue at the hoist.

    In May 1794, France abandoned the British pattern flag and substituted the modern tricolor. This, in turn, inspired the flags of many other nations, including Belgium, Ireland, Mexico, etc. The French fleet had not had time to obtain the new flags, and was still using the old version on the First of June.

    Peter Ansoff
  2. Wow Very interesting read there Peter.. It is always good to listen to ( or in this case to read) you talk (type) about the history and events including the vexillological side :)

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