The Gallic Rooster appears on the French national team soccer jersey because it is a popular symbol of the people of modern France. It all started with a Latin pun. If you’re less than fluent in Latin, we don’t blame you. However, you may know that the Latin name for the region that makes up modern France was Gaul. Therefore, someone from that region would be called a Gallus. It turns out, the Latin word for rooster is also gallus. Ever since some Roman jokester noticed this hilarious homograph, the French have been associated in some way with the rooster. 

Ever since their victory in the 2018 World Cup, the French national team has been one of the most popular teams on planet Earth. Les Bleus, as they are known (for their blue jerseys), have been one of Europe’s elite national teams over the last couple of decades, having won the Cup on home soil in 1998 as well. Because of this record of success, French soccer apparel has been selling like hotcakes. Here’s a brief history of the bold bird that distinguishes the French jersey from all others:

A Revolutionary Symbol

The use of the rooster as a symbol for the French people was far from widespread up until the French Revolution. Quick recap: the nobles were out of touch with the people, the people were poor and suffering, someone happened to invent the guillotine, and the rest is history. French monarchs considered the nation to be founded with the crowning of the first Christian king (Clovis I, in 496), but the republicans rejected this royalist narrative of the founding of France. In their eyes, the French nation had its roots in ancient times. The rooster, thought to have been a symbol of the early Gauls, rose to prominence during this time and has remained popular ever since.

The Gallic Rooster Today

The Gallic Rooster (or Gallic Cock) continues to be a symbol of the people of modern France. You can find the rooster on war memorials, currency, corporate logos, and of course, on sports jerseys. In addition to being a national symbol, the rooster has also been used as a national mascot, especially when France is hosting the World Cup. The 1998 Cup featured Footix the rooster, while the 2018 tournament featured a young female chicken named “Ettie” (perhaps the daughter of Footix).


So now you know why the French national kit features a rooster. All that’s left for you to do is to buy an officially licensed jersey so you can show the world that you bleed bleu.