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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:
A wide shield with, on the one end a lion-head and on the other an eagle-head, bearing a monogram "RF" standing for République Française (French Republic).
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 symbol is used on plaques marking French consulates.
Sometimes used on a semi-official basis, but having no official status as the arms of the French Republic.
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. First shown in semé, that is to say without any definite number and staggered, they were 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.
Unofficial Informal arms were created for the French Third Republic featuring fasces on a laurel branch and an oak branch in saltire.
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.
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.
Unofficial Informal arms dating from 1912, reintroduced during the presidency of Jacques Chirac (1995–2007) and still used.