Adopted in 1853, the French flag has a rich history. Blue, the color of St. Martin, and red, the color of St. Denis, are the traditional Paris colors. These colors were worn by the Paris militia during the storming of the Bastille. Red and blue are also associated with the Virgin Mary, France’s patron saint, and Charlemagne. Lafayette declared white the ancient color of France, creating the tricolor. However, different political factions have historically adopted a single color. For example, Royalists favored white, while socialists used red. This France Cotton Flag has a cotton background.