We customarily see them plastered in neighborhoods, on television, and more specifically throughout the south. Though much isn’t said, many thoughts are provoked when the fleur-de-lis captures attention. The English translation of fleur-de-lis (sometimes spelled “fleur-de-lys”) is “flower of the lily.” It is symbolized as a sign of French royalty and has been described by some as depicting a stylized lily or lotus flower, but many historians attribute its origin to a species of the wild iris, Iris pseudacorus.
The flower is used in association to divinity and royalty, also relating to purity. Traditionally, it has signified perfection, light, and life  while it is historically linked to Louisiana, Ancient Egypt, and the Roman Empire.
Observing French culture, you may easily spot the lily representing the history or pride of an establishment. Military units including divisions of the United States Army have used the symbol resembling a spearhead to identify martial power and heraldry — but before the lily was embraced by Christianity, Nero was Emperor as the Roman Empire held a range of Hellenic practices and beliefs including Mithraism.  The land encompassing the Mediterranean was the stage for the beginning of the Common Era.
As the life of Christ generated an increase of Christians, the culture of the Roman Empire began to shift. Therefore in 313 CE, Emperor Constantine declared the Edict of Milan to cease persecution of all Christians. Following in 380 CE, the Edict of Thessalonica declared Christianity the state religion throughout the Roman Empire, giving rise to Nicene Christianity and Catholicism. Fifteen years later, Emperor Theodosius mandated the empire be split into the Western and Eastern Roman Empire for his heirs.  Germanic Goth, Odoacer, marked the beginning of the downfall for the Western Roman Empire as he became King of Italy after deposing the appointed Romulus Augustus. Over a century later in 509, the Merovingian dynasty emerged after Frankish tribes united throughout Gallic territory. 
In due course, Clovis I was the first Merovingian king of the Salian Franks to ascend to the throne of Francia and is acclaimed for spreading Christianity throughout Europe. The pagan warriors were known as both allies and enemies of the Roman Empire. Throughout this time, many Germanic tribes were pagan or converted from paganism to Arian Christianity.  Though his wife, Clotilde, had been a devout Catholic, Clovis converted to Catholicism in the 4th century. Legend remains that he converted after the Lord brought health to his son and willed the Franks to victory.  The legend continues that Clovis embraced the fleur-de-lis after an angel presented him with a golden lily (or iris) as a symbol of his purification upon baptism. The fleur-de-lis then became a staple and has been present throughout French monarchy.
Due to its three “petals,” the fleur-de-lis has also been used to represent the Holy Trinity and ascribed by the Roman Catholic Church as the special emblem of the Virgin Mary before Charlemagne would reach the throne. 
The Holy Land
Around the 6th century, the Moors of Berber reached the height of their reign in the Mediterranean by improving the infrastructure of Iberia and all surrounding land.  The Moors had been renowned for their supreme architecture, culture, education, merchants, and more. In 732, Charles Martel, the father of Charlemagne the King defeated the Moors at the Battle of Tours resulting in a revolution and retreat of Berbers several years later. Approaching the 9th century, Charlemagne ascended to the throne of the Franks and becomes Emperor of the only standing Roman Empire.
Fourteen years after becoming Emperor and splitting Francia, Charlemagne died from pleurisy and the Gallic territories later began a new conquest for what initially started as war with the Islamic Empire in the Crusades to the Holy Land in 1095. The Holy Land of Egypt and Jerusalem had once been a monotheistic land, however had been disunited with Babylonian and Hellenic practice. Pope Urban II promised everyone who participated in the crusade a guaranteed ticket to heaven.  King Louis IX led the seventh crusade in 1248, and the eighth in 1270 but did not make the trip back to Rome. He was canonized as an Anglican saint in 1297.
French Influence in America
Today, the fleur-de-lis is influential in Louisiana and the Midwest, which are most noteworthy in the discovery by France during the european conquest of the New World. Evidently, the emblem has been celebrated prior to the 16th century.
Joan of Arc paraded a white banner that displayed the French royal emblem when she led French troops to victory over the English in support of the Dauphin, Charles VII, in the quest for the French throne in 1429.  Hernando Cortes of Spain is also conspired with the fleur-de-lis during his conquest of New Spain on his helmet and flag, where he killed over 100,000 indigenous people. 
Fugitive slaves who have been on the run for one month shall have his ears cut off and be branded with a fleur-de-lys on one shoulder. If he commits the same infraction for another month, his hamstring shall be cut and he shall be branded on the other shoulder. The third infraction shall bring death.
In 1453, the last of the Roman Empire dissolves after fall of Constantinople, swaying in a new era of Europe. The reign of the Sun King, Louis XIV, began in 1643 and was more than revered to have a new world named after him in Louisiana by 1682. Three years after founding the new land, King Louis XIV would issue a decree called le Code Noir (The Black Code) for all the French territories.  Said to have been revised, the general purpose of le Code Noir was to establish the construction of slavery and settlement in French colonies. Because of the additions and various publishing, it is advised that the publishing by Chez LF Prault is the most accurate.
The edict would contain articles stating:
- Article 1 – All Jews be expelled from the French lands
after imposing a threat to the longevity of Catholicism 
- Article 2 – All slaves should be baptized by Roman Catholic, and Apostolic faith and inform the Governor of newly purchased slaves
- Article 3 – Any religion other than the listed above was forbidden as offenders were to be punished
- Article 4 – No slaves can be owned by those who practice any other religion
- Article 6 and 7 – Everyone including slaves should use Sundays and holidays away from work or trade
- Article 8 – Those who were not of Roman Catholic, and Apostolic faith were deemed “incapable” of contracting a valid marriage, and all children of such should be considered bastards
- Article 12 and 13 – Children were submitted to slavery if their mother was a slave
- Article 38 – Fugitive slaves who have been on the run for one month shall have his ears cut off and be branded with a fleur-de-lys on one shoulder. If he commits the same infraction for another month, his hamstring shall be cut and he shall be branded on the other shoulder. The third infraction shall bring death.
- Article 47 – Slaves could not be separated
- Article 55 – Masters as young as 20 could free their slaves
Meanwhile in the New World, Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville established settlement for the French at Fort Maurepas in present day Ocean Springs, MS in 1699. Shortly after, chattel slavery was introduced to Louisiana with the indigenous Chitimacha  and it was not until 1719 when the French began to haul Africans and occupy them as slaves to the newly established territory.  In 1764, the settlement of St. Louis had later been named after the crusader, Louis IX , as le Code Noir remained the slavery policy until the year of the French Revolution.
During the reign of Sun King Louis XIV, le Grand Dauphin died from smallpox just four years before his father’s own exit. Shortly after the heir-to-be was the death of le Petit Dauphin along with his wife and eldest son due to measles, leaving the Sun King’s apparent heir to the throne in great-grandson Louis XV.  After King Louis XV too fell from smallpox, Louis XVI ascended to the throne during a critical time. In 1789, France erupted in a state of outrage due to the socioeconomic issues of the low-class Third Estate. They had felt they had been treated unjust by the minority of the Estates General, consisting of the nobles and clergymen. The First and Second Estates had not been paying taxes and ignored implementation, while the Third Estate had been considered rubbish while paying the taxes of the land. Thus, the economy was at a drastic low and facing famine and crisis of bankruptcy. This social inequality of the Estates General also resulted in the bourgeoisie.  The bourgeoisie had stormed out of a summoned Estates-General meeting and formed the National Assembly. After being silenced and ignored, they set flame to Paris. This outcry was the beginning of the French Revolution. 
Before being seized and decapitated, Louis XVI was known for his unconventional views and ending persecution of all Jews. He was a scholar of religion, morality, and English.  Since France became a republic, they have had less than a handful of emperors as all other rulers have been presidents. The fleur-de-lis happened to make it out alive and across the Atlantic.
- Christians and Jews faced persecution in the East since the beginning of the Common Era
- The Edict of Milan and Thessalonica greatly influenced the presence of Christians
- Splitting the Roman Empire weakened and shaped it’s longevity
- Clovis converted to Catholicism after ascension to the throne, thus honoring the fleur-de-lis and receiving support of the Roman Catholic Church
- Seljuk Turks moved west into heavily Greek-populated Holy Land, provoking the Crusades
- King Louis XIV issued the decree stating fugitive slaves in French territory be branded with fleur-de-lis
- The French Revolution of 1789 ceased French monarchy
To this day, Louisiana and the Midwest embrace the fleur-de-lis in culture, Saints apparel, and a multitude of establishments. Essentially, the flower stems from a period of continental warfare and religious imperialism. Although the emblem may represent the supremacy or suppression of a sovereign kingdom, many Americans across the nation choose to rejoice in the peace and solidarity the fleur-del-lis may reflect in a battered community.
1 “Fleur De Lis.” Ancient Symbols, 2019, http://www.ancient-symbols.com/symbols-directory/fleur-de-lis.html.
2 Park, Hyeongsu. “Mithraism in the Roman Empire.” Zentrale Fur Unterrichtsmedien, ZUM, 2006, http://www.zum.de/whkmla/sp/0607/hyeongsu/hyeongsu.html.
3 Mark, Joshua J. “Western Roman Empire.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 20 Feb. 2020, http://www.ancient.eu/Western_Roman_Empire/.
4 Hanson, Victor Davis. “Landed Infantry.” Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power, Doubleday, 2001, p. 144.
5 Koch, Carl. “Growth in a Crumbling Empire.” A Popular History of the Catholic Church, Saint Mary’s Press, 1997, pp. 96–97.
6 “The Grand Dauphin.” Palace of Versailles, 21 Jan. 2020, http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/history/great-characters/grand-dauphin.
7 Dürer, Albrecht. “Ancient Symbol Fleur-De-Lis: It’s Meaning And History Explained.” Ancient Pages, 1 July 2019, http://www.ancientpages.com/2016/10/10/ancient-symbol-fleur-de-lis-its-meaning-and-history-explained/.
8 Krauskopf, Joseph. “The Arab-Moors.” Jews and Moors in Spain, Hardpress Publishing, 2012, pp. 46–57.
9 “The Crusades (1095-1291).” Metmuseum.org, 2020, http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/crus/hd_crus.htm.
10 Thatcher, Oliver Joseph, and Edgar Holmes McNeal. A Source Book for Mediæval History: Selected Documents Illustrating the History of Europe in the Middle Age. S.n., 2015.
11 “Joan of Arc.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 27 Feb. 2020, http://www.biography.com/military-figure/joan-of-arc.
12 Hernandez, Bernat. “Hernán Cortés: Brutal Conquest of the Aztec Empire.” Hernán Cortés Conquers the Aztec Empire, 18 Dec. 2018, http://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/magazine/2016/05-06/cortes-tenochtitlan/.
13 Colbert, Jean-Baptiste, and Marquis De Seignelay. Le Code Noir, Ou, Recueil Des réglemens Rendus Jusqu’à présent Concernant Le Gouvernement, L’administration De La Justice, La Police, La Discipline & Le Commerce Des négres Dans Les Colonies françoises, Et Les Conseils & Compagnies établis a. Chez L.F. Prault, 1742.
14 Szajkowski, Zosa. “The Jewish Quarterly Review.” Jews and the French Revolutions of 1789, 1830 and 1848, Ktav Pub. House, 1970, pp. 320–323.
15 Carmon, Alana A. “Chitimacha.” Center for Louisiana Studies, 4 Nov. 2016, http://cls.louisiana.edu/programming-special-projects/louisiana-101/peoples-places/native-americans/chitimacha.
16 Rodrigue, John C. “Slavery in French Colonial Louisiana.” 64 Parishes, 2018, http://64parishes.org/entry/slavery-in-french-colonial-louisiana.
17 “St. Louis: The Early Years (1764-1850).” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 10 Apr. 2015, http://www.nps.gov/jeff/planyourvisit/the-early-years.htm.
18 Prahl, Amanda. “Biography of Louis XV, Beloved King of France.” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 7 Aug. 2019, http://www.thoughtco.com/louis-xv-biography-4692227.
19 Llewellyn, Jennifer, and Steve Thompson. “The Estates General.” French Revolution, Alpha History, 20 Sept. 2019, http://alphahistory.com/frenchrevolution/estates-general/.
20 Painter, Steve. “Rise of the Working Class.” Marxists Internet Archive, Labor College, Nov. 1986, http://www.marxists.org/history/australia/1986/rwc2.htm.
21 “Louis XVI.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 16 Jan. 2020, http://www.biography.com/royalty/louis-xvi.
“The Frankish Empire.” Saylor Academy, The Saylor Foundation, 2020, http://resources.saylor.org/wwwresources/archived/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/HIST201-1.1.1-FrankishEmpire-FINAL1.pdf.