CHAPTER 9 - FLEUR DE LIS
The Fleur-de-lis: A symbol indelibly connected to French royalty, yet stylistically rooted in one of humanity’s most simplistic notions that of “flower”, or fleur, in its most fundamental and symbolic form, is perhaps the oldest symbol on Earth. The fleur’s Egyptian history and grammar of style help us to know its structure and design in a more complete context. Understanding the roots of the fleur de lis aides in grasping the symbol and its true meanings. Instead of connotations of nobility or kingship, the symbol has a much more sublime meaning. It is a flourish of unity, a beacon of home and a monument to flora, for all the world to see.
As we delve into this almost lost meaning, we shouldn’t fail to adequately cover the history of the fleur as it picks up in most history books. It was then, that it became emblazoned on the heraldic shields of Gualish (French) kings. The fleur in the French context is something entirely different than what we have outlined previously. It was a monarchial symbol, something divining powers for kings. To some it was believed the powers of Egypt that had intoxicated the kings of Gaul, but according to most, it was just a symbol that represented of a bloodline destined to rule.
It is left to us, the champions of this noble symbol, to quicken new interest in this mysterious device. In a generation plagued with the dryness of science, perhaps the sublimity and magic of this ancient symbol could serve to remind us of a principle that our ancient ancestors held dear. In something so simple and primitive, in something so basic as a bloom, the entire meaning and completeness of life can be found. In one glance, under an aesthetic so magical, we can grasp concepts of unity with the things above and those below. As the sun rises and sets and the darkness comes again, and as the nourishment of the Nile brings height to a stalk and a grove, in something so simple as a flower we can find an allegory to the meaning to life. Flower is a constant reminder of the transience and temporal perfection creation reminds us of in the present, in the here and now. When combined with the history of home and humanity, we arrive at something one simple grade above mere nature. Together, humanity and nature form a unified symbol that speaks to the power of our civilization as far back as time itself can tell.
Like the upper flower and the lower flower that we see in any fleur de lis. The clasp, its most central element, is just as prevalent. It is present in nearly every rendition of the symbol. But is it an indication of Egyptian origin? Are you convinced that the French legends are adequate enough to support a full history of the symbol? Were the kings of France truly accurate when they spoke of it being passed down in a vision or inspired from the elements of an iris or lily alone?
We think not. There is simply not enough explanation in the French history to account for the clasp. What is more reasonable, is to credit the French story with a style of adaptation that has been present since the first artists. In art, it is said that nothing is ever truly original, except nature, of course, and yet the Egyptian arts may have been the first purely original, human style. We know the Egyptian inspiration came from nature, but there is a synthesis present in their designs that prove an original, manmade concept. It is for this reason that so many have come to love their art. We all see how the unity of this brilliant kingdom brought humanity, and its oldest civilizations, to new heights of achievement.
This is a new meaning to an old symbol. It is a reminder of an inherent principle of unity with nature; what the unifications of things can do. The fleur de lis reminds us of the power of symbols. It is a compelling story of unity with a foundation in our most ancient history.