French for "flower of the lily", the fleur-de-lis is a common symbol used in medieval heraldry, often to signify purity (in some cases, it was associated with the Virgin Mary).
The symbol was used in many countries, but is most notable with France, because of their common use of gold fleur-de-lis on royal blue backgrounds. It was used on their flags, coats of arms, and as Symbol Motif Clothing
on the kings' royal robes
and the queens' Pimped Out Dresses
(as in the picture on the right and this one◊
The actual french orthography is Fleur de lys.
In modern fiction, it's often a motif to refer to the grander styles of old. In Historical Romance, it's often used, sometimes correctly sometimes not, to prove that the Love Interest
is actually hidden royalty or nobility.
May occasionally show up in particularly creative Wingding Eyes
Note that in anime
the white lily motif
refers to something else
See also Four-Leaf Clover
Anime and Manga
- The Death Note anime gives Misa fleur-de-lis earrings, though they were crosses in the manga.
- The fleur-de-lis is the symbol of Ashford Academy in Code Geass.
- The call girl service in L.A. Confidential was called "Fleur-de-lis", with the slogan "Whatever You Desire".
- An important plot point in The Three Musketeers is that Milady has her shoulder branded with a fleur-de-lis, which marks her as a convicted felon.
- Used in The Da Vinci Code as the symbol of The Priory of Sion.
- The name of a character in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- In one Ciaphas Cain novel, a Battle Sister he meets has a Fleur de Lis tattoo on her forehead.
- In Moonlight, Mick's ex-wife Coraline had a Fleur-de-Lis on her shoulder. She told him it was the brand of a prostitute, but he later learned it was a mark that she was part of the French Royal family, who had been vampires at the time of the Revolution.
- The 2013 CSI Miami season finale had a serial killer use a spraypainted one of these as the taunting clue to the next victim.
- On Merlin, the spokes of King Arthur's crown were fleur-de-lis.
- Japanese Hip-hop group Dragon Ash have the fleur-de-lis as a symbol, and have several songs with lily imaginery. Even one of their albums is explicitly titled "Lily of the Valley"
- In Hype The Time Quest, the hero wears the livery of king Taskan IV : white and blue, with a gold fleur de lis. As he is sent in the past, he is always mistaken for a foreigner, as previous kings had other liveries. Hype stumbles upon a mythical armor in the past with this livery, during the reign of Taskan II. When he meets not-yet-king Taskan IV about a century later, it turns out the prince (who is still a child) like the livery so much he decides to make it his own when he becomes king; thus, Hype's livery is actually his own.. His fighting his evil double has a black and white livery with an upside-down grey fleur de lis.
- Some of the Castlevania games have this on the walls in some areas.
- Kingdom Hearts uses this symbol as a motif, stylising both the Heartless and Nobody emblems after it. Also, it features on Sora's Valour Form, one of his Super Modes.
- The Third Street Saints use it as their symbol.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Cutie Pox", Apple Bloom develops a cutie mark shaped like this, causing her to speak French.
- Later on, in "Sweet And Elite", there's a pony with three fleurs-de-lis as her cutie mark. Her name is appropriately Fleur Dis Lee.
- Lancer, from My Little Pony Tales, had a Fleur de Lis as his cutie mark.
- Although the French Republic has never officially adopted this symbol, at least not since the monarchy ended, it's still used in Spain and Luxembourg due to their royalty being part of the Bourbon line.
- It's a bit telling that, as emperor, Napoleon swapped that for gold eagles on a vermilion background.
- And gold bees as his new dynastic symbol.
- The bees thing stemmed from an archeological discovery: a very old French king's grave, with golden bees buried in it.
- Many French cities' coats of arms feature gold fleurs-de-lys on blue in the chief, symbolizing their status as a "bonne ville" (good town), which dates back to the ancien régime.
- The fleur-de-lis is a general symbol for the city of New Orleans. It's on the city flag, buses, trash cans, etc. Even the New Orleans Saints use it as the symbol on their helmets.
- And since Hurricane Katrina, it's found as a tattoo on every other person you meet. It certainly saved at least a couple of local tattoo parlors in the aftermath.
- It's also widely used in St. Louis, another city with a lot of French heritage.
- Also used in Louisville, Kentucky, for the same reason. Noticing a pattern here?
- Within Canada, the Fleur-de-lis symbolizes Quebec, as well as French-Canadian people across the country
- The fleur-de-lis appears in the Canadian coat of arms in the shield, supporters (flag held by one supporter) and the compartment, all as a symbol of the French-Canadian with the one in the shield referring specifically to Quebec.
- The province of Quebec uses the fleur-de-lis on their flag, coat of arms and license plates
- Quebecois UFC welterweight champion Georges Saint-Pierre has one tattooed on the back of his right calf.
- The Quebec Nordiques hockey club, founding member of the World Hockey Association, added a fleur-de-lis to each shoulder of its jerseys in 1974, and redesigned their jerseys to be primarily blue and white the following season, adding fleur-de-lis along the waistline for a total of eight. They would keep that look throughout their time in the NHL. Their planned 1995 redesign only kept the shoulder emblems, but those jerseys would never hit the ice due to the swift sale and relocation of the team to Colorado that offseason.
- The symbol of the Boy Scouts and other scouting organizations in many countries. Scouting's World Crest is a silver fleur-de-lis surrounded by a rope tied at the bottom in a square knot, on a purple background.
- The old flag and coat of arms of Bosnia. This is distinct from the flag and arms of the modern country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is different.
- Notably this was taken from the Medieval Kings of Bosnia, who even used the same colors as France. Oddly, the adoption of the fleur-de-lis by both monarchies was completely independent.
- Pink Fleur de lys are one of the iconic symbols of the "Stade Français", one of the two Parisian rugby teams.
- The French Foreign Legion, which was founded under King Louis Philippe, has as its symbol a seven-flamed grenade strongly resembling a fleur-de-lis.
- The far right French party Action Française, being monarchist, uses a yellow fleur-de-lis over blue as its symbol.