This article outlines current and historical national emblems of France, including heraldic coats of arms, first employed in the Middle Ages, as well as more recent, unofficial non- or quasi-heraldic emblems.
The French Republic currently uses two emblems:
- In 1953, France received a request from the United Nations for a copy of a 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: 1) 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). 2) An olive branch symbolises peace. 3) An oak branch symbolises perennity or wisdom. 4) The fasces, a symbol associated with the exercise of justice (the bundle of rods and an axe were carried by Roman lictors); this use of the fasces predates the adoption of this symbol by Benito Mussolini as the emblem of Italian Fascism.
- One has been a symbol of France since 1912, 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 using a design by the sculptor Jules-Clément Chaplain.
Fleur de Lys, a popular symbol during monarchical times, today used mostly by overseas people of French heritage, like the Acadians, Québécois or Cajuns.