What’s the Fleur-De-Lis’ meaning for New Orleans
Walking or driving through New Orleans you see the city’s symbol, the fleur-de-lis (French for “flower of the lily”), everywhere. You’ll find it on buildings and on flags around the city. Furthermore, many businesses, including restaurants have the “fleur-de-lis” either as part of their name, or show the symbol in their company logo. There are actually three of them in the City’s flag and of course the Saints Football Team carry the symbol on their helmets. There is even a fleur-de-fis playground on Fleur de Lis Drive. In July 2008, then Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a law making the fleur-de-lis the official symbol of Louisiana. Why is the symbol so ingrained into the city’s history?
A Little Background
The fleur-de-lis, a stylized lily or iris, is usually associated with the French monarchy, in particular with the Royal House of Bourbon. In addition, many of the French Catholic saints, especially St. Joseph, are depicted with a lily. It is said that French explorer, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, who named the entire Mississippi basin La Louisiana to honor Louis XIV, planted a fleur-de-lis flag at the mouth of the Mississippi river.
In New Orleans the popularity of the symbol probably comes from some of these origins, since it represents a tie to the city’s French heritage.