11 Patriotic Expressions

Citations et expressions patriotiques

Patriotic French expressions
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It’s always interesting to know what people have to say about their country and themselves, so here are some expressions and quotations somehow related to patriotism and the je ne sais quoi of Frenchness. The first three are linked to more detailed explanations.

1) Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

French motto

2) Vive la France !

An exclamative cheer or rallying cry

(In France, vive la France is almost always preceded by vive la République)

3) Impossible n’est pas français

Patriotic expression – or is it?

4) L’État, c’est moi

"I am the State"
King Louis XIV, 13 April 1655

5) Servir la patrie est une moitié du devoir, servir l’humanité est l’autre moitié.

"Serving the homeland is half of duty, serving humanity is the other half."
Victor Hugo, Mes fils (1874)

6) Au fond de tout patriotisme, il y a la guerre : voilà pourquoi je ne suis point patriote.

"At the heart of all patriotism, there is war: that’s why I’m not a patriot."
Jules Renard, Journal (1899)

7) Écrire proprement sa langue est une des formes du patriotisme.

"Writing one’s language correctly is one of the forms of patriotism."
Lucie Delarue-Mardrus, La Liberté (1933)

8) Le véritable lieu de naissance est celui où l’on a porté pour la première fois un coup d’œil intelligent sur soi-même : mes premières patries ont été des livres.

"The real place of birth is the one where you first took an intelligent look at yourself: my first homelands were books."
Marguerite Yourcenar, Mémoires d’Hadrien (1951)

9) La France ne peut être la France sans la grandeur.

"France cannot be France without greatness."
Charles de Gaulle, Mémoires de guerre (1954)

10) [L]a fusion des races a commencé dès les âges préhistoriques. Le peuple français est un composé. C’est mieux qu’une race. C’est une nation.

"The fusion of races began in prehistoric times. The French people are a composite. That’s better than a race. It’s a nation."
Jacques Bainville, Histoire de France (1924)

11) La France n’est ni un peuple, ni une langue, ni un territoire, ni une religion, c’est un conglomérat de peuples qui veulent vivre ensemble. Il n’y a pas de Français de souche, il n’y a qu’une France de métissage.

"France is neither a people, nor a language, nor a territory, nor a religion; it’s a conglomeration of peoples who want to live together. There are no people of French origin, there is only a France of mixed origins."
Éric Besson, Identité nationale : visite surprise de Besson à La Courneuve (2010)

Bonus: Fluctuat nec mergitur – motto of Paris and rallying cry against terrorism

Sports: Allez les Bleus !

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Patriotic French expressions

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