What Is the Meaning of the Fleur-De-Lis?

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Fleur-de-lis translates to “flower of the lily,” and both French and English monarchs have used the design to signify royal status on shields and coats of arms. The Fleur-de-lis has gained popularity in modern society as a tattoo design.

Fleur-de-lis painted gold which are part of a entrance panel to a Paris building
Fleur-de-lis painted gold which are part of a entrance panel to a Paris building (Image: searagen/iStock/Getty Images)

Origin

The Fleur-de-lis links to the French river, Lys, where lilies that resemble the symbol grow on the banks. According to The Mists of Antiquity, the origin of the name is related to the river.

Waterlily on a lake
Waterlily on a lake (Image: Eurngkwan/iStock/Getty Images)

General Symbolism

The Fleur-de-lis symbolizes purity and perfection, which caused the Church to lay claim to the symbol.

Stained glass window display
Stained glass window display (Image: Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images)

Religious Symbolism

According to Fleur-de-lis Designs, the three petals of the Fleur-de-lis symbolize the Holy Trinity. The Catholic Church links the symbol of the lily to the Virgin Mary.

Wrought iron fence with Fleur-de-lis designs
Wrought iron fence with Fleur-de-lis designs (Image: Stephen Shankland/iStock/Getty Images)

Military Symbolism

Military branches of government have used the Fleur-de-lis in correlation with a spearhead to symbolize the strength of military power.

Medieval royal armoured guardsmen with Fleur-de-lis symbol on helmets
Medieval royal armoured guardsmen with Fleur-de-lis symbol on helmets (Image: Artur Furmanek/iStock/Getty Images)

Other Uses

The New Orleans Saints football team uses the Fleur-de-lis as their symbol. Jewelry makers often use the Fleur-de-lis as a popular design theme.

Construction worker inside the Superdome in New Orleans, LA.
Construction worker inside the Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Image: Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

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