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The Fleur De Lis

The Fleur De Lis

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The fleur-de-lis, pronounced Florida-Lee, but what the heck is it?  I bet if I show you this picture, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.  

You have seen the fleur-de-lis on handbags, jewelry, clothing, and various accessories.  What is the history behind it?  How did it become so popular?  Why is the name so hard to pronounce?  You know I have the answers to all of these questions!

The fleur-de-lis has French roots and means simply a stylized lily or iris.  The amazing fact about this symbol is it represents many different meanings to various cultures.  Such as religious, political, dynastic, artistic, and emblematic but all different interpretations and always viewed as one symbol, fleur-de-lis.

I was a little surprised that the translation describes a lily or iris.  The sound of fleur-de-lis has a regal "ring" to it and I thought maybe it would have something to do with armor or gargoyles?  When you look at the word itself, I see the word lily but I would never have guessed!

The fleur-de-lis has appeared on numerous European coats of arms and flags throughout several centuries.  In particular, the fleur-de-lis is affiliated with the French monarchy in and continues to appear in the arms of the King of Spain and the Grand Duke of Luxemburg.

The fleur-de-lis remains an enduring symbol of France that appears on French postage stamps.  Ooh lala!

According to a French historian, the three petals represent the medieval social classes: those who worked, those who fought, and those who prayed.

The French are not the only ones who are crazy about our Fleur De Lis...

The fleur-de-lis is still widespread among numerous cities which use it as a symbol are some whose names echo the word 'lily', for Liljendal, Finland, Lelystad, and the Netherlands. This is called canting arms in heraldic terminology.

In the United Kingdom, a fleur-de-lis has appeared in the official arms of the Norroy King of Arms for hundreds of years.

In English and Canadian heraldry the fleur-de-lis is the cadence mark of a sixth son

In Mauritius, slaves were branded with a fleur-de-lis, when being punished for escaping or stealing food.

The symbol is also often used on a compass rose to mark the north direction founded by a Neapolitan mariner of the 14th century.

It's clear how it became popular, it is a prestigious symbol idolized by so many.

In Modern day, the fleur-de-lis makes several appearances throughout the world.  In the military, cub scouts,  popular sports teams, in education, company logos, and in fashions you see today.  It's royal status and popularity quickly caught on and it's why we see it everywhere today.  I have always wondered about the fleur-de-lis and where it came from.  Now we all know and can appreciate its royal roots.

Would you wear this around your neck?

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