Postcard For Reader + world war I

Cocky French Vintage Postcards

The Coq Gallois (French Rooster icon) is proudly perched upon this pile of German canons. The vintage postcard's image dates July 14, 1919. The war has been won and the French are happily removing these monstrous war machines from the city! During World War I the cockerel developed into a deeply patriotic symbol symbol of French courage and readiness to fight to the death in the face of war.

But how did the rooster become the symbol of France in the first place? In Roman times, France was known as Gaul. The Latin word 'Gallus' not only meant 'a person who lives in Gaul' but also was the word for 'rooster'. The Romans liked this joke, and over a period of time, this play on words meant that the rooster came to represent the Gauls. So the rooster started as a joke and is an icon that has been used by people for nearly two thousand years!

Napoleon (also an avid vintage postcard collector) tried in vain to replace the rooster with the more 'noble' eagle. But the rooster just wouldn't die! Later in the nineteenth century it was brought back and used on flags, the uniform and buttons of the National Guard, the great seal of France, the twenty franc gold coin and the gates of the Elysée Palace (the President's Official residence).

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Cocky French Vintage Postcards + world war I