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What is the Gallic Rooster?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
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The Gallic Rooster or coq gaulois is a symbol of the French nation and history, in addition to its land and culture. Along with Marianne of France and the lily, the Gallic Rooster symbolizes France and the French people, and he often appears on official seals. The Gallic Rooster also represents France in international sporting events, acting as the mascot for many French sports teams and sometimes even marching in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

Roosters have played a role in the symoblism and folklore of many nations for thousands of years. For many people, the rooster symbolizes bravery and boldness as he defends the flock against all comers, along with virility. In France, roosters were often used to decorate church bells and watchtowers, since the rooster symbolizes vigilance, as he wakes at dawn to alert people to the start of the day. During the French Revolution, the rooster often appeared in art, symbolizing hope and faith, and well through the 1800s, the Gallic Rooster appeared on French coins.

If you know Latin, you may be aware that the “Gallic Rooster” is also a play on words. The Latin word gallus means rooster (it's the root word behind the Spanish gallo as well), and it can also be used to refer to a citizen of Gaul, now known as France. This play on words was well known in Roman times, when many Gauls used roosters to symbolize their loyalty to Gaul.

This French national emblem appears in all sorts of places. Some French homes, for example, have rooster doorknockers, while many French businesses use roosters in their logos or to decorate their signs. The Gallic Rooster also appears in some government seals and logos, along with other symbols of France, and many French farmyards have a Gallic Rooster of their own. The French resistance also used this symbol during the Second World War, to remind themselves of the resilience and bravery of the French people, urging the French to resist occupation.

CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a CulturalWorld.org researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon67946 — On Feb 27, 2010

The wings of the French rooster, or fowl is shown on the back of the leopard in Daniel Chapter 7. It was not until I discovered that the Gallic rooster was the nation emblem of France that this mystery was solved.

The leopard, being Germany (leopard tanks, etc. too much to explain here why I know) with the four heads. Why four leopard heads? Until recently this was a mystery until I found out that Germany has had three kingdoms, or reichs. Even Hitler bragged about his third reich for a short while. The fourth reich, or kingdom is up and coming hence the prophecy of Daniel 7. But this last kingdom won't openly at first slam jews and christians.

And the bear symbol? Come on that's easy. Russia's not going anywhere folks for awhile. And the symbol of the Lion? That's pretty easy. Britain's been into lion symbols for centuries. Look at their coat of arms, etc. Do the math. The final kingdom will involve the EU and Russia on a monstrous scale. For all you America bashers, this is your time. There will be another bully on the block soon, bigger. But he's a lot naughtier and mean. But their dominion must end, because God's word must be fulfilled. Love

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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