Faluchard in 1898, with his faluche.
Falucharde of Caen in 2011.
Faluchards socialising during an apéritif in Caen.

A faluche is a traditional cap worn by students in France. It is a black velvet beret, decorated with colored ribbons and badges.

Several student groups wear the faluche, especially bitards, basochards, and faluchards. Previously, the faluche was associated almost exclusively with faluchards, although other folklore exists concerning the faluche.


Following demonstrations in 1884, the student association Association générale des étudiants of Paris ("A") was formed. On June 12, 1888, the Parisian students were invited to celebrate the 800th anniversary at the University of Bologna in Italy. At the celebration, the French students reportedly felt somewhat drab in comparison to the other students. The attire of the French delegation involved simply dark clothing brightened by one rosette in a buttonhole, and a ribbon in saltire with the colors of the town of Paris. Other European students, by contrast, had a wide variety of costumes and hairstyles: the Belgian students from secular schools had pennes, and those from Catholic schools had calottes; the Spaniards were bedecked with ribbons which proclaimed membership in specific universities; the Germans had their own caps; the Swiss had their thin kepis with small visors; the Italians wore a Louis XI-style hat, and others.

The French students thus decided to create a specific style of cap for themselves. They chose the black velvet beret of the inhabitants of the Bologna area, in remembrance of the students' congress in Bologna, which they fondly remembered.

On June 25, 1888, the date of the French students' return to Paris, that the faluche was really launched. Its popularity spread at the 600th anniversary of the University of Montpellier which took place May 22–25, 1890. From there, the tradition rapidly spread to other cities, with badges and ribbons added later.

The symbols used, initially transmitted orally, varied by university. This is why a synthesis was made in Lille on March 8, 1986, inspired by the Toulouse code. It was adopted as a national code in December 1986 in Toulouse, and it was at this time that the concept of Grand Master began. Then in 1988, at the time of the centenary of Faluche in Reims, a new more complete code was published, taking into account the Montpellier characteristics.

At the time of the German occupation during World War II, the wearing of the faluche was forbidden, except for the day of Saint Nicholas.

In 1988 the 100th anniversary of the faluche was celebrated in Reims, which has continued annually, in a different city each year.

A "regulated" cap

The colors and badges related to the faluche recall the life of the student. A written code makes it possible to ensure a homogeneity within the faluchard movement so that each student can read the faluche and thus know the course of each person.


The circular is covered with a fabric band with the colors of the student's filière (= "course of study", "academic field", "academic discipline").

Fabric Filière Color Badge

(Montpellier: Satin)

Medicine Red medicine Caduceus (PCEM1: Skull on crossed bones)
Pharmacy Green pharmacy Caduceus
Dental Purple Molar
Veterinary surgeon Bordeaux Head of horse
Midwife nurse Fuchsia Ankh
Ancillary medical Rose Ancillary medical
Osteopathy sky Blue Sphénoid bone
Agriculture Green bordered of Amarant Cow's head on corn ear
Letters and languages Yellow Open book & quill
Geography Yellow sphere
History Yellow helmet of Prériclès
Archaeology Yellow Sphynx's head
Sociology Yellow Frog
Psychology Yellow Psi
Sciences Purple Crossed oak and laurel palms.
Art schools Sky blue Pallette and brush
Architecture Sky blue Tri-square and compass
Preparatory classes for Grandes Ecoles Brown Double-headed owl.
Engineer School Blue and black Star & lightning.
Physical education and sports Dark green Rooster, or Olympic rings, or letters STAPS, or rings (in Strasbourg), Letters "UFRAPS" (in Lyon, Aix...)
Oenology Salmon pink Bunch of grapes.
Law school Red Justice scales and sword
Economic sciences, Management Orange mercury Caduceus
Economic and Social administration Clear green Letters A.E.S
Political sciences Red and blue Closed umbrella
Theology Red and white Cross
Business school Red and green mercury Caduceus
IUT, BTS With the colors of the discipline if not white (pink in Amiens, except GMP and BTS, in white) Letters B.T.S or I.U.T
Music and Musicology Silver Quadrant
Preparation for the contests of teaching Gray Letters IUFM


Local codes

The Alsatian and Montpelliérains faluchards have a different code than that usually called national code;


The faluchards in the majority of the courses of study and for each city elect a Grand Maître (GM) appointed like guarantor of the traditions and supported by a Grand Chamberlan (GC) whom it chooses. Their badge is a registered cross of the expression to the merit, which they carry at the end of a ribbon of the color of their course. The cross of GM is enamelled of white and that of GC is gilded. In Valence and Grenoble, the GC has a ribbon points some without cross with the colors of their discipline.

There are also three bishops who "reign" in a part of France: They "reign" in the towns of Amiens, Dijon and Poitiers. The bishop is recognized for his empathy and is charged to regulate the conflicts like celebrating the marriages faluchards.

In Nice there are also 12 knights who carry a kilt, representing the various courses of study of faluchés niçois, charged with organizing the faluchages and to be the guards of the traditions. The GM and GC are selected among the knights. There is even a specific code for the knighthood falucharde niçoise.

There are also orders (which do not have anything official) within the faluche. The membership of a brotherhood can be displayed on the faluche by a ribbon or a badge particular to each brotherhood.

Congress anniversaries

Past anniversaries of the faluche:

Other student traditions

In France

Student hats in the world


Websites of faluchard cities

Faluche codes