The Merovigian King Clovis, first king of the Franks, is said to have been given a golden lily by an Angel when he converted to Christianity beginning the use of the Fleu De Lis as a symbol of French Royalty. Today the Fleur De Lis has mushroomed up all over New Orleans as a symbol of the rebirth of the City after Hurricane Katrina. The Fleur De Lis can be found in every shop in the city as ear rings, key chains, ceramic tiles and on all sorts of T-shirts. Artists have integrated it into designs and abstract paintings, tourists take the image home as a remembrance of their visit and of course three are centrally placed in the official flag of the City of New Orleans. The use of the Fleur De Lis has been documented throughout history . Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans carried a white banner of God blessing the Fleur De Lis in her battles. It has been used as emblem of the Virgin Mary and Holy Trinity by the Church, and various military units, including the United States Army, use it to denote power and strength. The Fleur De Lis used for centuries in Heraldry now has become the unofficial symbol of the City of New Orleans.
I have used the Fleur De Lis in my art and crafts for several years but lately interest has gained and I sell many ceramic tiles, aprons, and stickers with the design on them see my page at http://www.cafepress.com/figstreetstudio/1925039 for samples.
The Fleur De Lis of the New Orleans Saints Football Team
Since 1967 the NFL New Orleans Saints football team has used a version of the Fleur De Lis on their uniforms. It is an old gold color with white outline on black most times but white uniforms are sometimes worn. In the winning season of 2009 the NFL began a campaign to stop the use of any fleur de lis on any garment or product claiming it violated their trademark. Many complained and in fact a US Senator also sent the NFL a letter saying that the Fleur De Lis could not be just an NFL desing trademark and they ultimately backed off. That action though removed a lot of my and other artists designs as who would want to fight the corporate power of the NFL? None of us local artists make a lot of money off one single design or product but the many art designs and products that represent new Orleans not a particular team, or entity. So it is never economically feasible for a small local artist to fight in court a giant corporation on anyone who spends money just to stop or isolate an artist from doing a particular art work. To me the ability to threaten legal action against an artist to stop art is a bad thing but that is the direction this country is headed. Eventually only a few well sponsored groups will produce art and thus the art limited to what is then sponsored. The days of little known local artists making a small contribution to the art world my be nearing an end.
The threat of suit made me design a Cajun French version of the fleur de lis retaining black and gold and this design has so far remained un-attacked by the NFL or any other party. But as always I sell just a few not enough to defend it against any law suit. I will keep you posted here if anyone sends me a complaint about it.
Both the Water Meter Cover and Fleur De Lis in one image-