What Is the Fleur De Lis? Religious Symbol Meaning Explained

I’m sure you’ve seen this stylized decorative symbol before as a recurring motif in jewelry. 
But, do you know the meaning behind it? 
Today, we will be discussing its history and the significance of the symbol. 

Fleur-De-Lis: What Does It Mean?

The French word “fleur” means flower, while “lis” means lily. 
Therefore, the fleur-de-lis is recognized as a decorative and stylized lily flower.
The meaning behind the fleur-de-lis is conflicting, as it is a symbol for both good and bad. 
It was a common emblem seen in war to signify military power and strength. 
In religion, it was also used to represent the Holy Trinity as well as the Virgin Mary. 

Symbolism Behind the Fleur-De-Lis

At one point in history, this symbol signified a religious and political symbol. 

Symbol of Religion

One legend tells the story of the Virgin Mary giving a single lily to King Clovis during his baptism. 

The lily was said to have come from the tears of Eve as she fled the garden of Eden.

This symbol was frequently seen in religion and religious art. 
The three-pointed tip of the symbol was said to represent the three divine beings of the Holy Trinity. 

Symbol of Royalty

Traditionally and historically, the symbol was used to represent French royalty. 
Why was it a symbol of royalty?
The use of the fleur-de-lis symbol was first reported in the scepters of French kings. 
The surrounding area, near the river of Leie, where this symbol was first used had a large amount of growing irises. 
Understandably, kings and royalty used this symbol on their coat of arms to depict their home.

The French Fleur-de-Lis

The fleur-de-lis on the French coat of arms is depicted without stamens and usually in gold. 
It has been debated whether the flower is actually a lily, or rather, an iris. 

The Florentine Fleur-de-Lis

Appearance-wise, the Italian fleur-de-lis looks a little different than its French counterpart. 
The Florentine fleur-de-lis is red and consists of stamens. The two petals on the side are curved outwards and have protruding feet

The New Orleans Fleur-de-Lis

The municipal flag of New Orleans is adorned with three fleur-de-lis emblems.
You’ll see the fleur-de-lis symbol as recurring motifs all over the city - Restaurants and many businesses have this symbol as part of their company logos.
So, why is the fleur-de-lis such an integral part of the community?
It is believed that the French explorer planted a flag with the fleur-de-lis symbol near the Mississippi River. 
The popularity of the symbol most likely arose as it represented the city’s French heritage. 

The Quebec Fleur-de-Lis

The fleur-de-lis is also seen on the Quebec flag as it represented French presence in Canada.
The survival of the fleur-de-lis in Canada was due to the fact that, unlike French citizens after the French Revolution, Canadians were not required to remove the symbol from their churches or decorations.
quebec flag

Fleur-De-Lis in Jewelry

In jewelry, this regal motif is both delicate and sophisticated.
Thanks to its timelessness, the fleur-de-lis popular and often used in jewelry.
The versatility of this symbol allows it to look beautiful with vintage-inspired metals and also modern pieces with gemstones and diamonds. 

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