The Fleur-de-Lis that we’ve all seen so recently on the helmets of the New Orleans’ Saints, Superbowl XLIV Champions, is actually an ancient French symbol of royalty, carried through the ages from 493 A.D.
Whether you’re a Saints fan, a New Orleans-ophile, or just a savvy aesthetic consumer, the Fleur-de-Lis is a beautiful, historical, and meaningful jewelry choice. Peter Stone celebrates the beauty and grace of the Fleur-de-Lis, translating the stylized figure into a collection of shining sterling silver pendants, rings, and earrings. In addition to creating fantastic jewelry, Peter Stone explores a fragment of the history behind this royal symbol. Vive La France! The Fleur-de-Lis (or Fleur-De-Lys) is a stylized lily that has been particularly associated with the French monarchy throughout history. It is an enduring symbol of the French culture, appearing on coats of arms, flags and postage stamps.
Members of French settlements in North America tend to adopt the symbol as a reminder of their roots: Quebec, St. Louis, Louisville, and Louisiana (hence the adaptation of the Fleur-de-Lis by the New Orleans’ Saints).
Religious leaders of King Louis VII’s time associated the Fleur-De-Lis (as a Lily) with the Virgin Mary, and the King began to utilize the symbol in royal accoutrements to cement the connection between rulership and saintliness.
In the next century, during the reign of King Louis IX, the three petals of the Fleur-de-Lis were attributed the characteristics of faith, wisdom, and chivalry. The symbol was said to be a sign that France was divinely favored.
The French national flag displayed the Fleur-De-Lis for centuries, until the adoption of the current tri-color design. In one of the more bizarre moments of history, the Fleur-de-Lis design was the pivot on which the course of French politics changed forever.
In an effort to restore the kingship to France in 1870, the throne was offered to Henri, Compte de Chambord. His acceptance hung on the condition the Fleur-de-Lis be returned to the French Flag. The leaders rejected his proposal, he refused the throne, and the country of France has been a republic ever since.
Since the earliest centuries of the French Monarchy, the Fleur-de-Lis has enjoyed global popularity. It is a royal symbol in cultures and countries all over the world. It shows up in architecture, art, and religious materials. It’s distinct shape can be seen in films, on scouting badges, included in car emblems (take a close look at the Chevrolet Corvette emblem…) as tattoos, design logos, and sports team emblems, and as a memorial to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Two surgical procedures are named after the symbol, and the US Navy Blue Angels have a looping maneuver also named the Fleur-de-Lis. Clearly, the beauty and meaning of this symbol have withstood the test of time, and for those with a historical bent, or just an appreciation of symmetry and beauty, the Fleur-De-Lis is a symbol with power and style. Peter Stone pays tribute to the rich history of this beautiful design with a stunning Fleur-de-Lis collection—a fantastic way for you to show your appreciation of this timeless royal symbol.