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What is the Fleur-De-Lis?

Updated on July 4, 2010

The Fleur De Lis

The Fleur De Lis is a very controversial emblem. The history of this fascinating emblem stretches far back in time an has had many uses and legends behind it. The lily is now called an iris and still grows along the river Lys in the lands that were drained by the Franks. When this flower is pressed and dried it clearly reveals the three tiered emblem that is so popular to us today.

Legends That Surround The Fleur De Lis

One of the earliest scenarios about this interesting symbol is that of Clovis, King of the Franks. It is said that the golden lily was given to Clovis at his baptism by the Virgin Mary, herself, as a symbol of purification. The thus "anointed" Kings of France later maintained that their authority was directly from God, without the mediation of either the Emperor or the Pope.

The lily was claimed to have been sprung by the tears of Eve as she left the garden of Eden. Other theories have said that Clovis adopted the symbol when he discovered the lily in battle as he tried to cross the river Lys. He was said to have successfully crossed the river at the same site that he discovered this flower and it led his army to victory.

In the 13th and 14th centuries the three petals of the flower were being described as representing faith, wisdom, and chastity by the the french and in Ireland they were said to represent the Holy Trinity.

The Fleur De Lis of Today

Today the fleur de lis is used in many things. It is a popular art subject all around Louisiana because of the strong French heritage. The New Orleans Saints adopted the Fleur De Lis because it was a symbol of the city of New Orleans and of France's Bourbon monarchy. The legends that surround this mystical flower also attribute to the Saints because of the catholic religion's association with the flower.


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    • Keith J Winter profile image

      Keith Winter 4 years ago from Spain

      Interesting lens. I have often seen the "Fleur de Lis" and even used to frequent a pub of the same name, but never knew the origins of the emblem. Thanks for sharing.

    • starlitparlit profile image

      starlitparlit 6 years ago

      @SteveKaye: You are very welcome. I see the fleur de lis as a part of my heritage, being from Louisiana. I thought I would share what the true meaning behind the symbol is instead of people thinking it's just a Saint's symbol

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 6 years ago

      Thank you for this lens. It provides a look into a part of history all of us have seen without knowing its origin.

    • LisaJo1 profile image

      LisaJo1 6 years ago

      I really enjoyed this lens. This is a design I have seen almost every day of my life and I never knew there were so many interesting facts in its history. Great job on this lens!

    • starlitparlit profile image

      starlitparlit 7 years ago

      @khael: Thanks for the visit. I love the fleur de lys. It's a cultural thing for me, :)

    • khael profile image

      khael 7 years ago

      One of my wargame armies sport the fleur de lys. Definitely an elegant and eye catching design.

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      QueSea 7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this lens with us. I've seen this symbol in many places. One of them is on wedding cakes. It's fascinating to read about different ideas where it originated.

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      hosting-reviews 7 years ago

      Ive seen this on the book store girls neck lace always wondered if it had meaning now I know. Thanks ! Great lens !

    • InductionCooktops profile image

      InductionCooktops 7 years ago

      Hello, I did enjoy your information and the visual representations of the fleur de lis emblems, history and origin. It is always interesting to know where our history lies. I share your interest in reading, in fact and fiction. Bless you and your family. Been there myself. There is much joy besides the work.