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Re:Fleur-de-lis (1 viewing) (1) Guest
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TOPIC: Re:Fleur-de-lis
SirChristoph (User)
profile icon User Offline Canada flag
  #170546
Fleur-de-lis 1 Week, 6 Days ago
I recently had my step mother, who is a Quebecker, comment on my knights.
She said that they must be French.
I asked her why she thought that, and she said it was because of the Fleur-de-lis.
My question for you is:
Is the Fleur-de-lys a French symbol?
I've looked a lot of old pictures of medieval heraldry and seen this symbol on many heraldic things from many Western entities.
Another question:
If it wasn't a symbol of France how, when and why did it become one?
There is a lot of conflicting information on where it came from and I'd like to know your opinion.

There are a bunch of Fleur-de-lis on the knight leading the army in this picture, but it's clearly an English army:
Last Edit: 2017/01/10 20:18 By SirChristoph. Reason: added
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SirChristoph (User)
profile icon User Offline Canada flag
  #170547
Re:Fleur-de-lis 1 Week, 6 Days ago
Just in case someone didn't know what a Fleur-de-lis was, there is one on this shield:

Last Edit: 2017/01/10 19:32 By SirChristoph. Reason: added
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NigeslSquire (User)
profile icon User Offline United States flag
  #170548
Re:Fleur-de-lis 1 Week, 6 Days ago
SirChristoph wrote:


There are a bunch of Fleur-de-lis on the knight leading the army in this picture, but it's clearly an English army:


Since the English were essentially French (Normans) who conquered England in 1066, it would not be strange to see French symbols on an English army post conquest. One of my favorite lines from historical fiction is from Sir Nigel (the prequel to "The White Company" where Doyle describes the English King thus: "He was a scholar too, speaking Latin, French, German, Spanish, and even a little English."
Last Edit: 2017/01/10 22:31 By NigeslSquire.
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Lord Reaper (User)
The Order of the Purple Brush in gold (Click to see more)The Golden Palette 2014 (Click to see more)The Golden Palette 2013 (Click to see more)
profile icon User Offline Denmark flag
  #170553
Re:Fleur-de-lis 1 Week, 5 Days ago
fleur-de-lis is a symbol for the lily, the christen cross and the trinity. the fleur-de-lis is a symbol that the french monarchy have used, and is often associated with the france nobility.
The picture with the english knight, is probably a picture depicting the battle of Agincourt. And the knight leading the army must there for be Henry the V. His family had blood relation with the frances royal bloodline and he owned large domains in France. This is probably why he used the fleur-de-lis in his coat-of-arms.

Henry the V coat of arms:


The French royal arms after 1376
Last Edit: 2017/01/11 09:43 By Lord Reaper.
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  #170555
Re:Fleur-de-lis 1 Week, 5 Days ago
When you read about the hundred years war it should become clearer to you
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Tertius (Moderator)
profile icon User Offline
  #170557
Re:Fleur-de-lis 1 Week, 5 Days ago
SirChristoph wrote:

My question for you is:
Is the Fleur-de-lys a French symbol?

Yes. It is also strongly associated with Quebec, Louisiana, and New Orleans.

SirChristoph wrote:

If it wasn't a symbol of France how, when and why did it become one?
There is a lot of conflicting information on where it came from and I'd like to know your opinion.

The symbol was adopted by the French kings sometime between 1100 and 1300 (the same period when real world Heraldry was coming into being). As a symbol it existed prior to that.

There is a decent article about it on Wikipedia. It does a good job explaining the different theories that answer the question, "why is a symbol that looks like a stylized Iris named a Lily?".

My (real history) opinion is: the Iris and Lily were a bit conflated in Medieval imagination; Medieval botany didn't manage to keep the two flowers sorted; that business of a yellow flower against blue water is the origin of the Arms of France somebody posted above. (Read the Wikipedia article for better detail.)

My (in game) opinion is: the western bank of the Reik estuary, otherwise known as The Marches of Couronne, is a marshy swampy place; in the many pools and ponds of that region there grows a water lily; there are two varieties white and yellow. This is the native origin of the plant. Bretonnians have carried the seed pods of this plant to ponds and pools throughout the realm and it is now found everywhere in Bretonnia. It was generally adopted as a symbol for Bretonnia because it originated in the place where Bretonnian territory begins and The Empire ends.

(And if that ^ is not official fluff, it should be. Since I think I made ^ that up it probably isn't official. But they missed a trick if they never thought of it.)
Long Lost Wanderer
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NigeslSquire (User)
profile icon User Offline United States flag
  #170559
Re:Fleur-de-lis 1 Week, 5 Days ago
Tertius wrote:

My (in game) opinion is: the western bank of the Reik estuary, otherwise known as The Marches of Couronne, is a marshy swampy place; in the many pools and ponds of that region there grows a water lily; there are two varieties white and yellow. This is the native origin of the plant. Bretonnians have carried the seed pods of this plant to ponds and pools throughout the realm and it is now found everywhere in Bretonnia. It was generally adopted as a symbol for Bretonnia because it originated in the place where Bretonnian territory begins and The Empire ends.

(And if that ^ is not official fluff, it should be. Since I think I made ^ that up it probably isn't official. But they missed a trick if they never thought of it.)


This is a great explanation! I have been re-reading the old army books and in the 96 one they say in the Questing Knights section "Many questing Knights retain all the heraldic colours and blazons they have already earned and add to these the sacred emblem of the Lady of the Lake.... the blazon of the Fleur De Lys, which is a magical lily that grows only in places where the Lady of the Lake appears. This emblem is worn to bring good luck for the quest as well as displaying the knight's devotion to the Lady of the Lake." It goes on to explain how it may be incorporated into the knights pattern.
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SirChristoph (User)
profile icon User Offline Canada flag
  #170560
Re:Fleur-de-lis 1 Week, 5 Days ago
Here are some on the Codex Manesse.

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Jon Lackpenny (User)
profile icon User Offline
  #170567
Re:Fleur-de-lis 1 Week, 4 Days ago
Yep, and the good codex is, as we know, German. And the fellow depicted there has a German name so is, presumably, not-French. The fluer de lys is as French as, I dunno, the five pointed star is American, or whatever. The French usage of it is extremely famous, but a fluer de lys doesn't mean your knights are necessarily French.

I feel like we've stumbled into an episode of "Sheldon Cooper Presents: Fun With Flags" in this thread
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Wiegraf (User)
profile icon User Offline Canada flag
  #170571
Re:Fleur-de-lis 1 Week, 4 Days ago
yeah, lots of symbols shared among nations.

Look at the Red cross of St George on the white banner.

It's apparently the "English" Flag. yet the Crusaders, Republic of Genoa and Swabian League, also adopted it. Georgia, which I assume the country is named after St. george? uses it today.

There's no stopping the adoption of devices and symbols of flags and crests and coats of arms! But I do agree there is usually a "main" user.
Last Edit: 2017/01/12 21:57 By Wiegraf.
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  #170588
Re:Fleur-de-lis 1 Week, 3 Days ago
Lol - its one of the most commonly used heraldic blasons, as well es heraldic rose. it was wide used in Germany, Poland, France, spain, England etc. Fleur de Lys is the heraldic simbol associated with Mary, Godmother - so knights used it for her defence and it was very popular. Many people associate it with france because their ruling heraldy had Fleur de lys and during war of the roses it came to kings of england heraldy to shoew their ambitions towards french crown. So no - it was a very popular international blazon in middle ages.
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The arrows klinging off from your breathplate,
But one is enough in your throat,
And even if you are born to be a great fighter
Never shall you come home...
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