Rich in history and legendary, the Fleur de Lis is one of the most recognized symbols across the world. Representing either a lily, or an iris, its motif comes to us from a distant past and to this day still remains a mystery as to its origins.
So, what does it symbolize? Essentially it is a stylized flower that over time has been associated with royalty. Representing elegance and class, this enduring emblem has been used as a decorative element on shirts, jewelry and even objects for Home Décor.
Where does it all begin and how is the symbol being used?
Monarchy and Heraldry
While the Fleur de Lis has appeared on numerous flags and European coats of arms over the centuries, it is mostly associated with the French monarchy. Used as a dynastic emblem, the Fleur de Lis goes as far back as the 12th century and was also adopted by noble families like the royal House of Bourbon.
The symbol is also featured prominently with other European monarchs and rulers such as in the Crown Jewels of England and Scotland where it has been a prominent part of the design of the Scottish royal arms and Royal Standard since James 1 of Scotland.
Across the world
What does the emblem symbolize to different countries across the world? Some interesting fleur de lis facts include these bits of history. As French settlers moved to the New World, the emblem soon became associated with areas such as Quebec and Nova Scotia in Canada and south of the border in Louisiana, Louisville, Kentucky and New Orleans in the United States.
This symbol has also been used in less traditional ways! After Hurricane Katrina several New Orleanians of different ages and backgrounds were tattooed with the french motif as one of its cultural emblems and as a memorial of the storm.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal signed on July 09, 2008, a bill into law making the Fleur de Lis the official symbol of Louisiana. It is also widely used in New Orleans as an emblem of grassroots support for New Orleans’ recovery. This holds a special place in the heart of New Orleans.
Often by design, the Fleur de Lis is still used to this day and represents the ongoing presence of heraldry in our everyday lives. In such a context what does the Fleur de Lis symbolize as different organizations are still using this emblem?
Example, the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps situated in Madison, WI, have the emblem as their official logo, with members and past members sporting signature Fleur de Lis tattoos!
It also appears as a logo for different sports teams, as with the Fiorentina soccer team, the New Orleans Saints football team, the New Orleans Hornets basketball team, and last but not least, the former Quebec Nordiques National Hockey Leagues team.
Another Fleur de Lis is fact is that it is also featured on military badges like those of the First World War Canadian Expeditionary Force, the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and the Corps of Cadet at the Louisiana State University.