Pronunciation: [lee behr tay ay gah lee tay frah tehr nee tay]
Meaning: liberty, equality, fraternity (brotherhood)
Notes: France’s motto dates back to the French Revolution. Several mottos came about at that time, and it wasn’t until 1958 that Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité was added to the French constitution and became official – read more.
While you’re not likely to hear people actually saying the words Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, you’ll see them in official documents, stamped onto coins, and carved onto the pediments of public buildings.
The motto is commonly adapted for different issues and causes, by both demonstrators and the media. For example:
- Liberté, égalité, frugalité (money issues)
- Liberté, égalité, gratuité (free public transit)
- Liberté, égalité, maternité (issues related to motherhood)
- Liberté, égalité, paternité (paternity leave, LGBT adoption rights…)
- Liberté, égalité, solidarité (inclusivity)
- Liberté, égalité, sororité (women in male-dominated fields)
- Liberté, inégalité, fraternité (various issues)