Living in the Languedoc: Central Government: French National Symbols: The Motto
The notions of liberty, equality and fraternity were linked by Fénelon at the end of the 17th century, and the linkage became widespread during the Age of Enlightenment.
At the time of the French Revolution, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" was one of the many mottoes in use, but was by no means the only contender as a motto for the revolutionaries.
Robespierre advocated in a speech on the
organization of the National Guards (in December 1790) that
the words "The French People" and "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"
be written on uniforms and flags, but his proposal was rejected.
1793 onwards, Parisians painted the following words "Unity,
indivisibility of the Republic; liberty, equality or death"
on the façades of their houses. This was imitated by the inhabitants
of other cities, but they were soon asked to erase the end
of the phrase (as it was too closely associated with the Terror).
This motto was inscribed again on the pediments of public
buildings on the occasion of the celebration of 14 July
Although it was often called into question, the familiar
motto finally established itself under the Third Republic,
and was written into the 1958 Constitution.
appears explicitly in the constitutions of 1946 and 1958,
and may be found on many everyday items - including coins
and postage stamps.
The French national motto is one of the sybols of sovereignty mentioned in article 2 of the French Constitution of 1958: "La devise de la République est « Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité »."
The French National Anthem: The Marseilles