Monday, February 23, 2009


From Wikipedia:


The fleur-de-lys (or fleur-de-lis, plural: fleurs-de-lis; pronounced /ˌfləː(r)dəˈliː/ (pronounced [ˌflœː(ʀ)dəˈlɪs] in Quebec French), translated from French as "lily flower") is a stylized design of either an iris or a lily that is now used purely decoratively as well as symbolically, or it may be "at one and the same time political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic and symbolic",[1] especially in heraldry.

While the fleur-de-lis has appeared on countless European coats of arms and flags over the centuries, it is particularly associated with the French monarchy on a historical context, and nowadays with the Spanish monarchy and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as the only remaining monarchs of the House of Bourbon.

It is an enduring symbol of France that appears on French postage stamps but has not been adopted officially by any of the French republics. By contrast, as Spain is a constitutional monarchy, the fleur-de-lis is associated with the Spanish King Juan Carlos I (of Bourbon descent) and the Kingdom of Spain.

In North America, the fleur-de-lis is often associated with areas formerly settled by France, such as Quebec and Louisiana and with Francophones in other Canadian provinces.

More here.

I'm gearing up tonight for much revelry tomorrow, which means my mind isn't at all on blogging. But I figured I'd offer a nice thematically appropriate quickie. I've done the history and meaning of Mardi Gras already, back in February of '05, my first one in Louisiana, so I'm posting a link to this Wikipedia article on the fleur de lis, traditional symbol of New Orleans, and more recently the newly adopted symbol for the entire state of Louisiana.

C'mon. Haven't you wondered, even just a bit, what's up with this weird and stylized image? After reading up on it, I'm a bit more confused than I was before - for instance, why was the symbol chosen by King Clovis I in the first place? - but I'm now quite certain that the explanation for NOLA's embrace of the fleur isn't much more complicated than the fact that the French seem to be identified with it more than any other people. Yeah yeah, obvious and all, but it's nice to know for sure that's what it's about.

Here's my favorite fleur de lis, the New Orleans Saints logo:

Happy Mardi Gras!

BTW, probably no post tomorrow night. You know, for obvious reasons.