The revolution progressively imposed the wearing of precise symbols of identification for authorities, and also for adult men belonging to the general public. On 17 July 1789, three days after the fall of the Bastille and of the royal attempt to block the beginning of the Revolution, Louis XVI arrived at Hotel de Ville of Paris to mark his reconciliation with the city and his consent to the appointment of new authorities. The Marquis de Lafayette, new head of the Garde nationale, pressed him to wear a tricolour badge to mark his acceptance of the early demands of the Revolution. The cockade blended the colours of Paris (red and blue) and its bourgeois militia, with the white of the King. It became a sign of support for the revolution, the immediate visual identification of the patriotes, starting a fashion of carrying it on clothes and hats, in all sorts of forms and shapes, provided they included the colours of Paris mixed with that of the King. On 8 July 1792, the Legislative Assembly made mandatory the wearing of a cockade for men, even before the deposition of the King and the proclamation of the Republic. The Musée de la Revolution francaise in Vizille opens with a poster, originally placed in a cabaret, announcing that “it is prohibited to enter without a cockade and to use any other qualification than citizen”. All sorts of types of cockades were designed and used, because they were not yet codified in order and shape. We have here two examples, with a fashionable patriot who placed an exuberant multiform cockade on his tall hat, while a more austere character is using the traditional bicorn with a cockade, white in the centre and on the outside, then blue and red.
In addition to that, on 12 July 1792, the Legislative Assembly decided by decree that all its members should carry, while on official duty, an insignia showing an open book with the terms « Constitution » and « rights of man », held by a crested tricolour ribbon. Similarly, departmental administrators and local representatives of the central government should carry on the same ribbon a medal with the words “Respect the law”. In another miniature here represented, a man with a blue coat is carrying his official insignia as a local administrator with a great sense of the importance of his duties.
Patriote à la mode, the militant and the local official, with his red blue white collar to support an insignia.