Fleur de Lis

The Fleur-de-lis is a stylised icon of a lily. It is a very popular symbol and it has been used in a number of different contexts. Most commonly this symbol is used either to denote French ancestry or as a Christian symbol but it is important to look at the context of the symbol to determine what it might mean.

The Fleur-de-lis is a French national symbol. However, it is not the official symbol of France. The official symbol is shield emblem featuring a lion and an eagle. It is understandable that the Republic of France did not adopt the symbol considering its traditional use by the French monarchy. One of the earliest uses of the symbol by French monarchy is a seal from AD 1060 depicting Philip I on his throne holding a staff with a fleur-de-lis.

The Fleur-de-lis is also used in Christian iconography. As a Christian symbol, the three petals of the flower symbolises the trinity.  The symbol can be depicted alongside the Archangel Gabriel during the Annunciation. The purity of the lily, an association that goes as far back as Greek goddess Hera, also connects the fleur-de-lis to the Virgin Mary.

It is also a national symbol of Bosniaks. It is currently featured on the military flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Furthermore, the fleur-de-lis is also the symbol of the Boy Scouts. However, it is uncommon for the symbol to be used in this form on a headstone.

fleur de lis

Bosniak historic flag

Bosniak historic flag


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