France Jerseys: Why Do They Have a Rooster?

france jersey chicken

Getty France's soccer jerseys feature a rooster on the left chest.

The Gallic rooster is the unofficial symbol of France, and the reason why the soccer team has the animal prominently on their jerseys. The history of the rooster is a bit more complicated. Essentially, France took what had previously been intended as an insult about their perceived stubbornness, and turned it into a source of pride. described the history of the rooster symbol.

The rooster recalls the Gallic origins of the nation, with the symbol initially adopted, linguists believe, owing to a pun on the Latin word for cockerel and the ancient state of Gaul. France’s enemies made this joke because of the supposed stubbornness and brazen pride of the people, but it was to be turned on its head as the French took the bird to their hearts as an icon of their nation.

Regardless of the strange heritage, the rooster has great symbolic value as it signifies faith and light. The crowing of the cockerel each morning represents the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.

Throughout history, France has used the rooster on a variety of national items. France in the U.S. detailed just some of the items that the rooster has been featured on.

The rooster played an important role as the revolutionary symbol, but it would become an official emblem under the July Monarchy and the Second Republic when it was seen on the pole of regiments’ flags. In 1830, the “Gallic Rooster” replaced the fleur-de-lis as the national emblem, and it was again discarded by Napoleon III.

Since 1848, the rooster has been seen on the seal of the Republic (Liberty is seated on a rudder decorated by a rooster); it was used from 1899 as a motif on gold 20 franc coins and it occasionally appears on stamps.

It is the emblem of French sports teams in international competitions.

Diplomatie explained why the rooster is referred to as a Gallic rooster.

The Latin word “gallus” means both “rooster” and “inhabitant of Gaul”. Certain ancient coins bore a rooster, but the animal was not used as the emblem of the tribes of Gaul. Gradually the figure of the rooster became the most widely shared representation of the French people.

Heading into the 2018 World Cup, France had one title that the country won in 1998. France entered the final as a heavy favorite over Croatia, as the squad looked like one of the most consistent teams throughout the tournament. France’s manager Didier Deschamps was the captain of the 1998 team, the last French squad to win a World Cup.

“When you are a player it’s the most beautiful life,” Deschamps explained to The Guardian. “Especially when that trophy is waiting at the end of the night. Nothing is more beautiful, nothing can be bigger, if you are a footballer.”

Kylian Mbappe has been one of the bright spots of the France team. Brazil legend Kaka spoke with about the success of the young French star.

“And he is also just 19 years old, but he sometimes seems like he is 35 years old – very mature, controls the game, [makes] good choices,” Kaka told “I think he’s got a very, very good future and to see a 19-year old player playing and performing like he is performing at this World Cup – we are blessed to see something like that.”