The Phryges: caps of the French Revolution turn mascots of Paris 2024

The mascot for the 2024 Summer Olympics are inspired by the Phrygian cap, a symbol of liberty and freedom popularised during the French Revolution.

by STIRworldPublished on : Nov 19, 2022

A French painting commemorating the July Revolution of 1830, shows a woman leading a group of people forward, surrounded by barricades and the bodies of the fallen. Holding the flag of the French Revolution, which then became the national flag of France, she wears a Phrygian cap on her head. French artist Eugène Delacroix, the painter behind theLiberty Leading the People or La Liberté guidant le peuple is alleged to have used the Phrygian cap on the woman’s head as a symbol of liberty during the first French Revolution of 1789. Over 192 years later, Paris, is set to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The Phrygian cap was chosen as an inspiration for their mascot design.

The painting Liberty Leading the People by  Eugène Delacroix | The Phryges | Paris 2024 | STIRworld
The painting Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix Image: Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives via artsy.net, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
“At Paris 2024, we wanted mascots that would embody our vision and be able to share it with the French people and the world. Rather than an animal, our mascots represent an ideal. The Phrygian cap is a symbol of liberty. Since it is familiar to us and appears on our stamps and the pediments of our town halls, it also represents French identity and spirit,” states Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024, in an official statement.

The mascots for Paris 2024 are inspired by the Phrygian cap of the French Revolution Image: Courtesy of Paris 2024 via Instagram

Ahead of the opening ceremony of the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, officially the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad, Paris 2024 presented their mascot for the upcoming sports event to the world. The mascots for the Paris 2024 are two characters that take on the cartoon form of the Phrygian cap. Named ‘The Olympic Phryge’ and ‘The Paralympic Phryge,’ the two mascots feature the tricolours of the French national flag. They have blue googly eyes, red bodies in the form of Phrygian caps, tricoloured eyelashes, and white and red trainer shoes. Presenting ‘The Paralympic Phryge’ with a running blade, Paris 2024 states, “By choosing a mascot with a visible disability, Paris 2024 also aims to provide people with disabilities with as much visibility as possible, boldly promoting the paralympic and sporting values of inclusion.”

  • Named ‘The Olympic Phryge’ and ‘The Paralympic Phryge’, the two mascots adorn the tri colours of the national flag of France | The Phryges | Paris 2024 | STIRworld
    Named ‘The Olympic Phryge’ and ‘The Paralympic Phryge’, the two mascots adorn the tri colours of the national flag of France Image: Benjamin Boccas
  • The creative team had paid attention to two details of the character particularly - the eyes and the mouth | The Phryges | Paris 2024 | STIRworld
    The creative team had paid attention to two details of the character particularly - the eyes and the mouth Image: Benjamin Boccas

From the pages of French History, the Phrygian cap joins a new revolution: a revolution of sports. Narrating the creative process of designing the Paris Olympics 2024 mascot Phryges, Paris 2024 says, “To create an original mascot that inspires and unites, the creative teams of Paris 2024 went in search of a powerful symbol. Then they had to give it a shape, features, and a personality. A lot of creative collaboration was required to further develop the Olympic and Paralympic mascots from their original concept.” Furthermore, the official statement elaborates that the team paid particular attention to two details of the mascot's facial features: eyes and mouth. While presenting the eyes as mischievous and expressive, they aimed for it to resemble the ‘cockade of France,’ the French national ornament. The mouth was carefully designed to reflect every expression with a good-natured personality.

For the versions of each different sport, thought was given to ensure each sporting gesture is as dynamic and realistic as possible Image: Courtesy of Paris 2024 via Instagram

Along with the two mascots, Paris 2024 also released multiple graphic works of ‘The Phryges’ in clusters, with them participating in different sports and leisure activities. While the mascots are set to show up, encourage, and participate in all events of Paris 2024, Estanguet adds, “The Paris 2024 mascots speak volumes about our commitment to a more inclusive society. One of them even wears a prosthetic running blade, raising the profile of para-athletes and people with disabilities. Together, as well as embodying our Games, our mascots will carry them forward, showcasing the ambition of Games that are truly revolutionary.”

Paris 2024 is scheduled to take place from July 26, 2024 to August 11, 2024 in France.

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