The French Republic personified; a proclamation of the Republic of 22 September 1792 announced that the symbol of the new regime would be a female figure representing the goddess of liberty. The name Marianne came popularly to be applied to the figure, typically represented wearing a Phrygian cap. The image of Marianne, appearing on stamps and coins and as a bust in town halls, has since the 1960s been modelled on a living person (the first, in 1969, was inspired by Brigitte Bardot).
The reason for the adoption of the name is not known. La garisou de Marianno is the name of an Occitan song composed by the Republican poet Guillaume Lavabre, probably in 1792; a song called La Marianno is said to have been sung at festivals in the mid 19th century in the town of Castres (Tarn), in front of a statue of the Republic known locally as ‘La Marianno’.