What Is the Meaning of the Fleur-De-Lis?

Fleur-de-lis painted gold which are part of a entrance panel to a Paris building

Fleur-de-lis translates to “flower of the lily,” and both French and English monarchs have used the design to signify royal status on shields and coats of arms. The Fleur-de-lis has gained popularity in modern society as a tattoo design.


Waterlily on a lake

The Fleur-de-lis links to the French river, Lys, where lilies that resemble the symbol grow on the banks. According to The Mists of Antiquity, the origin of the name is related to the river.

General Symbolism

Stained glass window display

The Fleur-de-lis symbolizes purity and perfection, which caused the Church to lay claim to the symbol.

Religious Symbolism

Wrought iron fence with Fleur-de-lis designs

According to Fleur-de-lis Designs, the three petals of the Fleur-de-lis symbolize the Holy Trinity. The Catholic Church links the symbol of the lily to the Virgin Mary.

Military Symbolism

Medieval royal armoured guardsmen with Fleur-de-lis symbol on helmets

Military branches of government have used the Fleur-de-lis in correlation with a spearhead to symbolize the strength of military power.

Other Uses

Construction worker inside the Superdome in New Orleans, LA.

The New Orleans Saints football team uses the Fleur-de-lis as their symbol. Jewelry makers often use the Fleur-de-lis as a popular design theme.

About the Author

Lolo Parker is a freelance writer specializing in pet care, beauty products, accounting, telecommunications, religion and gardening. Parker holds a Bachelor of Metaphysical Science from the University of Metaphysical Sciences and is pursuing her master's degree in the same field at U.M.S.