Friday, February 4, 2011


Fleur de Lys the origin and icon

The power of the visual image is astounding and the impact an image has on humanity is even more so. How can one image be so successful that it in time comes to represent so many things? The origin of the fleur de lys icon and how it has changed over time is most intriguing. From being the symbol of royalty for King Louis XIV, the Printmakers mark, the Boy Scout emblem, and the clothing and apparel that people wear every day: the fleur de lys has been a major part of culture. The fleur de lys has been a symbol of power and organization in each facet that it represents. People continue to use the fleur de lys to set themselves or organization apart from others. In essence the wearing of the fleur de lys continues to mark all those who would perhaps unknowingly consider themselves like Louis XIV, of importance.
Images of the fleur de lys are seen everywhere throughout history. Hyacinthe Rigaud’s adorns Louis XIV robes in a pattern of fleur de lys. Today in the clothing industry this symbol is seen on t-shirts and the back pockets of jeans to name a few places. In accessories it can be seen adorning the tops of hair sticks. In the academic world it appears on stylized notebooks. Clearly this repetitive use signifies that this image has and continues to send messages to all those who come across the fleur de lys.

What do you want to write about?

I would like to write about an image and how we have seen it used throughout time.
How will the topic require you to use what you’ve learned in both your emphases?
My emphases are graphic design and humanities. Graphic design delves into images and what they come to represent in a practical way. Humanities are how images are able to be used and the meaning that we associate with each image. Finding the meaning behind the fluer de lys intrigues me. Is there a general meaning behind this image is something I would like to examine.

Is the topic to broad?

This topic has the possibility to become a wide open subject. A brief overview is how I would like to approach the subject using more of a Socratic method by raising awareness and asking people to look at things in a new light and see what they would not otherwise have noticed.

What kinds of resources will you draw on to pursue this topic?

Books, documentaries, and images: the artist who have branded the fluer de lys

Possible avenues to research:

Historical background
-who was Louis XIV and how did he impact humanities and art through the ages?
Visual image
How have we seen the image represented?
Objects: merchandise, clothing, accessories
-trademarks, ownership, symbols, signs (in connection to the usage of the fluer de lys image and its significant meaning)


  1. Misty-
    Hey it's drew. I think your idea is awesome. The fleur de lis seems to be the symbol for the city of New Orleans and it served as an inspiration to the entire city during last years Super Bowl run for the New Orleans Saints. The Saints symbol really helped the city after Katrina hit. That would possibly be an interesting thing to research about how the fleur de lis was able to inspire and help that city due to it's association with the football team. Just my 2 cents. Good luck. You'll do great.

  2. Interesting topic. I think it would be very interesting to look into other similar images and some of the impact those have had in culture etc. Symbolism is a very strong whether we know it or not, maybe mention the crucifix and it's true origins. Also it would be interesting to compare this to how modern day companies (Google, Apple, Microsoft, Nike) came up with their logos and how, as consumers, we are affected by these/do they alter our behavior in brand recognition etc.
    Good luck.

  3. Maybe spend some time analyzing the use of the icon with the knowledge that the french translation means "flower of light". Does its use reflect that translation? Have people used it without giving thought to what the translation means? How and why did the creator of the symbol come up with the name for it? I can try to help with any French translation needs.

  4. I agree with the fact that it is a broad subject. If you’d like to narrow it down, you might even consider writing about it as an archetype. I don't know if the fleur-de-lis is an actual archetype, but there might be some people who do. If so, that could be a good argument for you to defend/support. It s ounds like a very interesting research project, and I believe that Wayne (our archetype instructor) will be glad to give you ideas on this.

  5. Hi Misty, this is Jarry from your Archetype class. Do you know if we are having class this Thursday (tomorrow).

    Thank you.