Gallic Rooster

Snapshot of a rooster on top of an obelisk at Plaza de Francia, erected to honor the French workers of the Panama Canal which began their titanic endeavor on January 1, 1880. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

The rooster is the unofficial symbol of France.  The relationship between a rooster and France dates back to the Middle Ages due to the play on words in Latin between Gallus, meaning an inhabitant of Gaul, and gallus, meaning rooster, or cockerel.

The Gallic rooster, colloquially named Chanteclair, had been a national emblem ever since, especially during the Third French Republic. The rooster was featured on the reverse of French 20-franc gold pieces from 1899 to 1914. After World War I it was depicted on uncountable war memorials.

A rooster can be observed on the garden gate of the Palais de l’Elysée in Paris, the official residence of the President of the French Republic.

This obelisk is one of the main tourist attractions of the old section of Panama City, known as Casco Viejo.  Good Day.

5 thoughts on “Gallic Rooster”

  1. I didn’t know that, about the symbolic importance of the rooster. Nice photo, and a nice memorial.

    Funny, that the first thing I thought about when I saw the rooster and read “France” was – Napolean!

  2. Morning Linda:

    You are warm. According to Wikipedia, “Other heraldic animal officially used by the French nation includes the French Imperial Eagle, symbol of the First French Empire under Napoleon I.”

    Having said that, the rooster is more closely related to France than the eagle, thus the cock on the top of the obelisk to honor France the first to attempt the construction of the Panama Canal.



  3. Anyone who has traveled at all around Panama will soon come to realize that the rooster is the unofficial national bird of the Republic.

  4. Boquete was once the center of production for gallos de pelea. My father-in-law would feed them leche Klim to increase their growth. Nena still says the roosters ate better than the kids! haha

  5. Richard and Jim & Nena:

    @Richard: Not many roosters in Panama City, although I can hear them at the crack of dawn.

    @Jim and Nena: In Bocas del Toro where I lived, many people were passionate about cock fights. Never went to one; thought it was unfair to the fighting roosters. Same applies to bull fights.



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