Fleur De Lis: The Elegant Symbol with a Rich History

Very few decorative symbols have as much colorful and controversial history as the Fleur De Lis Symbol. Its sharp and curvy edges have been a topic of much speculation and argument.

In recent times, despite the continued popularity of the symbol in textile and jewelry production, architecture, and religion, many people continue to view it with resentment or adoration.

For some, it remains a symbol of an oppressive government, while others imagine it to have pagan connotations. But what exactly is Fleur De Lis, and what does it symbolize? Most importantly, is it offensive to wear this symbol? This article will help us find out.

The Fleur De Lis symbol is an iconic symbol that means ‘Lily Flower.’ It is sometimes mistaken for the Flower of Life, which represents the cycle of life. The Fleur De Lis Symbol has two parts that depict two separate things at specific points in its history.

A part of the symbol depicts a stylized lily or lotus flower, although some historians insist that the depicted flower represents a species of the wild iris. In contrast, the sharper parts of the symbol depict an arrow. Traditionally, the symbol represents royalty and power among many ancient civilizations, including ancient Egypt.

Fleur De Lis is associated with the French due to the influence of the French Royal family. Today, it is pretty popular and adorns the gates of several buildings. You will also find the symbol on fabrics, wallpapers, and jewelry. 

Its meaning has also evolved over time. Many now consider the Fleur De Lis a symbol of beauty and innocence, breaking away from its more political and pagan representations.

Brief History of the Fleur De Lis Symbol

Fleur De Lis Symbol
Fleur De Lis

The Fleur De Lis Symbol has been spotted in many ancient civilizations like Egypt, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and even ancient Greece and Rome. However, the association with the French royalty is most popular.

The French King Clovis adopted it to signify his purification in the 3rd century. The King claimed that God handed the sign to him through an angel. Other accounts claim he adopted this symbol when water lilies showed him how to cross a river and succeed in battle.

In the 12th or 13th century, King Louis VI adopted the symbol as the royal badge by emblazoning it on his shield. During this time, the Catholic Church also adopted the symbol to represent purity and chastity.

During the 1600s, the French sailed over to the United States and claimed the territory of New Orleans for the French by planting a flag with the Fleur De Lis Symbol. Countries have used the symbol across Europe, South America, and North America at various times. By the 21st century, the Fleur De Lis had become a ubiquitous symbol.

How to Produce The Fleur De Lis Symbol On Fabrics

Textile manufacturers use either embroidery or printing to reproduce the Fleur De Lis symbol on fabrics. Embroidery can be done by hand or machine, although machine embroidery is the preferred option.

A designer creates the design and hands it over to the operator. In turn, the operator loads the file into the computerized machine and ensures that he places the fabric correctly before setting the machine off. The machine stitches the design automatically.

There are three ways to carry out printing, but digital printing is preferred because of its speed, accuracy, and quality. A graphic designer designs the symbol on a computer and passes it to an operator. The textile workers ensure the suitable dye ink and fabric are fed into the machine before printing commences.

The manufacturers can print the Fleur De Lis symbol as a damask pattern or a ditsy print. Either way, they make stunning decorations on fabrics.

Types of Fleur De Lis Symbol

The Fleur De Lis Symbol has been widely used across several of the world’s continents. Each of these societies attaches different meanings and styles to the symbol. Based on this, it is possible to differentiate Fleur De Lis according to its origin and meaning. Some categories include:

The World Fleur

The world Fleur is the most iconic Fleur of the series; they are also the most traditional of the Fleur series. The symbol depicts the traditional triple spikes of the Fleur De Lis but with more embellishment than the others of the series. It often serves as a symbol of mourning and sympathy.

The Creole Fleur

The Creole Fleur is sometimes called the Fleur of the Marshlands because it originated from the marshlands of the Mississippi River. Due to the harsh conditions endured by early settlers in the marshes. This type of Fleur is mainly connected to hope and unprecedented triumph; it has also symbolized resurgence over the years.

The Mortal Fleur 

The design of the Mortal Fleur strongly reflects beekeeper culture, with the lower parts resembling a bee’s abdomen. Its original is highly vague, unlike most fleurs. Mortal Fleur is both dramatic and comical. However, its symbolism is anything but funny. Mortal Fleurs has been linked heavily to death and skepticism.

The Egyptian Fleur

As the name implies, this Fleur type originated from ancient Egypt. Its design is unique, with the protruding head depicting a marsh-like plant and its side leaves looking like papyrus fans.

Ancient Egypt was concerned with the sacredness of deities and symbols, and the Egyptian Fleur is part of that culture; it represents the spiritual unification of a divine kingdom.

The American Fleur

The American Fleur draws from the spirit of the early American explorer. The pioneer American always pushed himself harder to achieve his goals. Hence, the America Fleur symbolizes typical western exploration.

Due to how early Americans viewed this symbol, it is also the first Fleur type that represents different things to different people. It could mean patriotism, commitment, curiosity, or daring exploration.

The Florentine Fleur

As shown from the name, this Fleur hails from Florentine, Italy. Italy was one of the prominent users of the Fleur De Lis,’ and the Florentine Fleur is their contribution to the symbol. The Florentine Fleur is one of the most beautiful and artistic fleurs.

It symbolizes entrepreneur attributes such as stamina, success, and drive. The Florentine Fleur de Lis is the only Fleur type with such intricate stamens; these stamens reflect the unique resilience of the florentines.

The Astral Fleur

As depicted by its name, the astral Fleur hopes to inspire humanity to a higher form of enlightenment. Some of its origins have been traced to Central America. This Fleur type symbolizes utopia, hope, and imagination; it represents the excellent projection of humans.

The Bourbon Fleur 

This type of Fleur symbol has a special kind of flair to it. It is mainly used to symbolize power and unquestionable authority and is associated with monarchs and dictators. Just like what it represents, the design of this Fleur radiates as if it comes from a magical higher source.

Uses of The Fleur De Lis Symbol

Fleur De Lis Decor

Fleur De Lis’s Symbol has appeared in various forms and has multiple meanings. In modern times, the fleur symbols are used in the following contexts:

As a Decorative Symbol

Decorators, textile manufacturers, and jewelry makers have incorporated the symbol into their work. Textile workers recreate the symbol as embroidery or ditsy prints. 

Home decorators use Fleur De Lis symbols in wallpapers and furniture covers. You can also find them in decorative ornaments, utensils, and drinkware. Some jewelry makers have carved the symbol into gold and diamond studded earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.

As a Religious Symbol

Fleur De Lis has been an important symbol in Christianity for many years. The three petals of the symbol represent the Holy Trinity, while many believe its floral parts represent the chaste and pure nature of the Virgin Mary. It still adorns the stained glass of some churches.

As a Political Symbol 

Many political entities still use the symbol as their official symbols. France has three Fleur De Lis signs on its coat of arms. Several cities in European countries also have some form of the symbol in their coats of arms. Some European royal families also use the Fleur De Lis symbol in coats of arms to symbolize their family heraldry.


The Fleur De Lis Symbol has had versatile usage throughout history, and its design and what it represents vary across many places. It remains popular in the textile, home décor, and jewelry industries.

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