It gradually was introduced as a more widespread term to denote that territory, formerly known as Gaul, after the Frankish invasion and the retreat of the Romans.The name "Francia" was applied to various territorial units until the Middle Ages, when it came to signify the kingdom of the French sovereign.Regional identities, such as Provencal and Breton have coexisted with political units of state control.The degree to which France is today a homogeneous nation is a highly contested topic. French national identity is based on the historical origins of the nation in Celtic, Gallo-Roman, and Frankish cultures.The name "France" originally was used to refer to several peoples in the lower Rhineland.The population is divided by social class, political party affiliation, generation, ethnicity, and region.
White is associated with monarchy, red with the republic, and blue with Charlemagne, Clovis, and other early rulers.
France takes a highly assimilationist approach to its immigrant populations.
The social position of Beurs (the children of North African immigrants) is an ongoing issue.
While tied to the mainland of Europe, the country is open to the Atlantic to the west.
It also has coasts on the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the English Channel to the north.