While attending school in Louisville, I observed many fleurs-dis-lis (⚜️) throughout the city. I had seen the symbol before (most notably used by the New Orleans Saints), but I had no idea what it meant. As part of my bus commute research series, I decided to take a look and see
a) what the fleur-de-lis symbolizes
b) why it is associated with Louisville
What is a fleur-de-lis?
The fleur-de-lis is a stylized lily and is commonly used as a decorative symbol. Apparently, many saints are often depicted with a lily, which is why I often associate the fleur-de-lis with a religious connotation. It seems tied to French history and is often associated with the French monarchy, but it is often seen in other coats of arms across Europe.
Why is the fleur-de-lis associated with Louisville?
Basically, places that saw strong French settlement during European settlement adopted this symbol. Louisville was one of these areas (many settlements along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers were strong French settlements, which is why the fleur-de-lis is popular throughout these areas). It also seems likely that the fleur-de-lis is chosen to pay homage to French contributions during the Revolutionary War. This symbol is so much a apart of Louisville’s identity that it is included in the Louisville Metro Seal and the Flag.