Vessels sailing under the France country flag are required to have on board this flag as part of flag state requirements that derive from maritime regulations in the International Code of Signals and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. These codes are published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as an ongoing effort to reinforce maritime safety procedures and communications to the international maritime community. Fleet management companies and ship owners are responsible to ensure that each vessel in their respective fleets have the appropriate flag signage onboard to be in compliance. This flag is used to identify the flag state a vessel is sailing under and to communicate with other vessels under the provisions of the International Code of Signals.
The France country flag consists of three equal vertically displayed bars colored blue, white and red. The height to length ratio is 2:3 respectively. This flag has remained unchanged since March 5, 1848 after a series of diverse attempts to develop a flag for a country undergoing severe political changes. Although the colors represented on the flag officially bear no specific meaning, it is generally accepted that the colors symbolize liberty, equality and fraternity.