Holy Tornado

To see the soul of your comrade listen carefully to his music.

Monday, August 07, 2006

IRIS, THE FLEUR-DE-LIS

The iris, (Fleur-de-lis) long predates its association with the Kings of France. There are various legends of how the iris came to represent the French monarchy but most center around two historical incidents separated in time by six hundred years.
Clovis, who in 496 A.D. is said to have abandoned the three toads on his banner in favor of the Fleur-de-lis. His Christian Queen Clothilda, had long sought to convert her heathen husband but he always ignored her plea.

Then faced with a formidable army of Alamanni, the Germanic tribe invading his kingdom, he told his wife that if he won the coming battle he would admit her God was strongest and be baptized.
He did win and the toads whose symbolism woutd be most interesting to know disappeared.
He was converted to Christianity and was baptized.

The second incident occurred in 1147. Louis VII King of France had a dream that convinced him to adopt the purple iris as his device shortly before setting out for his ill-fated crusade. Thus the fleur-de-lis became the symbol on the banner of France for the next six hundred years. Or twelve hundred years if we take it from the time of Clovis that the iris became the symbol for a great nation.

The Iris was so powerful a symbol of the French kings that the Revolutionaries in 1789 set out to totally obliterate the symbol of the hated monarchy. It was chipped off buildings and torn from draperies. Men were guillotined for wearing a fleur-de-lis on their clothes or as jewelry. The revolution succeeded and the symbol of the fleur-de-lis is only a memory now and is considered merely a conventionalized ornament or decoration.

When Heavenly Father created this lovely flower he knew it would be admired and pleasure his children. It certainly has made a place for itself in our world.
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