The fleur-de-lis and what it means

Saints Aren’t the First to Call on Fleur Power


Fleur is the French word for flower and lis is lily. But the pronunciation is a matter of some dispute. Americans typically say “fluhr duh LEE.” But in French, it is “fluhr duh LEES.”

Many legends about the fleur-de-lis and its original use are obscured in the mists of history. Scholars have debated it for centuries.

It came into focus as a representation of French royalty after Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as emperor in 800 A.D. Much of its symbolism gravitated toward Catholicism.

It is sometimes seen in depictions of the Virgin Mary through association with the lily.

Joan of Arc, it is said, carried banners into battle that showed the fleur-de-lis. Drawings show her wearing a hat adornedwith them.

The fleur-de-lis is often associated with North American places like Detroit, Quebec and Louisiana, which were settled by French explorers. In sports, the Quebec Nordiques wore it on their uniforms.

The logo for the Boy Scouts of Americauses it, and so has at least one sorority.

The Saints have worn fleur-de-lis since their inception in 1967 but have enhanced the design in recent years.

More on: Fleur-de-lis & Fleur-de-lis in Scouting

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