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Flags, Symbols, & Currencies of French Guiana

French Guiana is an overseas department of France, and therefore flies the flag of France.The French national flag - the tricolore - consists of three vertical bands of equal width, displaying the country's national colors: blue, white and red. The blue band is positioned nearest the flag-staff, the white in the middle, and the red on the outside. The red and blue colors are Paris’ traditional colors, with blue associated with St. Martin and red with St. Denis. The two colors are also associated with the Virgin Mary, France’s patroness. Occasionally, the colors are used to represent the revolutionary motto: Liberty, Equality, and brotherhood. However, according to the government website, blue and red are the colors of Paris while white was the color of the king. The flag of France is 1.5 times wider than the height.

Besides the national flag, the regional governmnt use regional flags. However, the official regional flag depends on who you talk to. The Regional Council in French Guiana declare the white flag with the silhouette as their regional flag. The Departmental Council adopted the green and yellow flag as the official regional flag of French Guiana. The French Guiana football team uses the green and yellow flag. 

History of the French Guiana Flag

French Guiana was originally inhabited by the Native American people, including Arawak and Kalina. The French first attempted to settle in the area in 1624, but were repelled by the Portuguese. However, the French returned in 1630 and formed settlement in Cayene, making the long journey to French Guiana becaming an overseas department of France. As an overseas department and region of France no other flag was flown on the island except the French tricolor flag. Thus, French flag is the only officially recognized flag of French Guiana. 

Symbols of French Guiana

National Coat of Arms of French Guiana

The coat of arms of French Guiana is also the country's national symbol. It is a shield consisting a boat with oars carrying gold. The boat is positioned in an green river with three white water lily flowers. The heavily laden boat represents the richness that exists in the territory. The top of the Coat of Arms is a blue strip with three  fleurs-de-lis beneath the number 1643. The number 1643 refers to the year that the French founded the Cayenne City. Two anteaters, one on either side of the shield, are guarding the coat of arms. 

National Anthem

  • Anthem Title: La Marseillaise (The Marseillaise)
  • Music composer and Lyricist: Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
  • Date of Adoption: 1646

Being an integral part of France, the French national anthem is used in French Guiana as the official anthem. Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle composed La Marseillaise in 1792 while in Strasbourg immediately after France declared war with Austria. He titled the song “Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin" (War Song for the Army of the Rhine). Three years later, the song was adopted as the Republic’s national anthem by the French National Convention. 

La Marseillaise

Allons enfants de la Patrie,

Le jour de gloire est arrivé !

Contre nous de la tyrannie

L'étendard sanglant est levé, (bis)

Entendez-vous dans les campagnes

Mugir ces féroces soldats ?

Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras

Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes !

Aux armes, citoyens,

Formez vos bataillons,

Marchons, marchons !

Qu'un sang impur

Abreuve nos sillons !

Que veut cette horde d'esclaves,

De traîtres, de rois conjurés ?

Pour qui ces ignobles entraves,

Ces fers dès longtemps préparés ? (bis)

Français, pour nous, ah! quel outrage

Quels transports il doit exciter !

C'est nous qu'on ose méditer

De rendre à l'antique esclavage !

Aux armes, citoyens...

Quoi ! des cohortes étrangères

Feraient la loi dans nos foyers !

Quoi ! Ces phalanges mercenaires

Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers ! (bis)

Grand Dieu! Par des mains enchaînées

Nos fronts sous le joug se ploieraient

De vils despotes deviendraient

Les maîtres de nos destinées !

Aux armes, citoyens...

Tremblez, tyrans et vous perfides

L'opprobre de tous les partis,

Tremblez ! vos projets parricides

Vont enfin recevoir leurs prix ! (bis)

Tout est soldat pour vous combattre,

S'ils tombent, nos jeunes héros,

La terre en produit de nouveaux,

Contre vous tout prêts à se battre !

Aux armes, citoyens...

Français, en guerriers magnanimes,

Portez ou retenez vos coups !

Épargnez ces tristes victimes,

À regret s'armant contre nous. (bis)

Mais ces despotes sanguinaires,

Mais ces complices de Bouillé,

Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié,

Déchirent le sein de leur mère !

Aux armes, citoyens...

Amour sacré de la Patrie,

Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs

Liberté, Liberté chérie,

Combats avec tes défenseurs ! (bis)

Sous nos drapeaux que la victoire

Accoure à tes mâles accents,

Que tes ennemis expirants

Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire !

Aux armes, citoyens...

The Marseillaise

Arise, children of the Fatherland,

The day of glory has arrived!

Against us, tyranny's

Bloody standard is raised, (repeat)

Do you hear, in the countryside,

The roar of those ferocious soldiers?

They're coming right into your arms

To cut the throats of your sons, your women!

To arms, citizens,

Form your battalions,

Let's march, let's march!

Let an impure blood

Water our furrows!

What does this horde of slaves,

Of traitors and conspiring kings want?

For whom have these vile chains,

These irons, been long prepared? (repeat)

Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage

What furious action it must arouse!

It is to us they dare plan

A return to the old slavery!

To arms, citizens...

What! Foreign cohorts

Would make the law in our homes!

What! These mercenary phalanxes

Would strike down our proud warriors! (repeat)

Great God! By chained hands

Our brows would yield under the yoke!

Vile despots would themselves become

The masters of our destinies!

To arms, citizens...

Tremble, tyrants and you traitors

The shame of all parties,

Tremble! Your parricidal schemes

Will finally receive their prize! (repeat)

Everyone is a soldier to combat you,

If they fall, our young heroes,

Will be produced anew from the ground,

Ready to fight against you!

To arms, citizens...

Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors,

Bear or hold back your blows!

Spare those sorry victims,

For regretfully arming against us. (repeat)

But these bloodthirsty despots,

These accomplices of Bouillé,

All these tigers who mercilessly

Tear apart their mother's breast!

To arms, citizens...

Sacred love of the Fatherland,

Lead, support our avenging arms

Liberty, cherished Liberty,

Fight with thy defenders! (repeat)

Under our flags may victory

Hurry to thy manly accents,

So that thy expiring enemies

See thy triumph and our glory!

To arms, citizens...

The Currency of French Guiana is the Euro

As an overseas department and region of France, the French Guiana is part of the Eurozone and uses euro as its currency. The region adopted the euro in 2002, the year France adopted the currency. 

Coins

The euro is divided into euro cents, with 100 cents as the smallest denomination. Euro coins are available in several denominations, including 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20, 50c, €1, and €2. All the coins have similar features, with the only difference being the denomination. 

Banknotes

Euro banknotes have similar designs on both sides and are issued in the denomination of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, € 200, and €500. However, each note has its color, with each dedicated to an artistic period in the history of European architecture. Other features include gateways or windows on observe and bridges on the reverse side.

Euro Banknote

100 euro Banknote
100 euro Banknote

Euro Coin

1 euro coin
1 euro coin

Historical Currencies of French Guiana

Until 2002, French Guiana used French franc as its currency. Franc was used alongside other banknotes issued for French Guiana from 1888 to 1961 and notes issued for French Antilles. Franc was used until the France and its overseas deparments and regions like French Guiana adopted the use of the euro in 2002. 

French franc Banknote

500 francs 1998 Banknotes.
500 francs 1998 Banknotes.

French franc Coin

10 french franc coin (1978) obverse
10 french franc coin (1978) obverse

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