Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Azure


Royal banner azure with countless
gold Fleur de lis 12th century.

Fleur de lis was adopted by King Phillip I of France or King Louis VI who became the first French monarch to use the Fleur de lis on his shield. (A blue shield decorated with golden Fleur de lis). As Louis VIII wore blue vestments decorated with golden fleur de lis, English kings added the symbol on their coat of arms to emphasize their claims to the French throne.



King Philip I of France


Charles V, crowned in 1364, reduced the number of fleur de lis to three. This banner preceded the king everywhere and was carried by an equerry. Only the king alone could display the banner. It was used in Battle by all of the French kings up To HenryIV. (1590)



Coronation of King Charles V and his banner


From 1590-1790 the Bourbon banner, a white flag with three golden fleur de lis was one of four flags used by the military. Others were blue with three gold fleur de lis of different shape and sizes or a lion rampant between three fleur de lis which dated back to Charles VI of France (1405).



Charles VI of France and the Bourbon flag


In the 14th century, fleur de lis was often incorporated into the family insignia that was sewn on the knight's surcoat, (the three petals representing the Holy Trinity) which was worn over their coat of mail, thus the term 'coat of
arms".



Joan of Arc. Holding the white banner
decorated with Fleur de lis.


The white cross and the fleur de lis of France are attributed to Joan of Arc and Charles VII. In her support of Dauphin against the English she led the French troops to victory, thus helping Charles VII regain his throne. The flag supposedly contained many motifs and it was intended to be a contradiction of the English flag, meaning that England was subject to France and not vice-versa. The multiple fleur de lis represented the unity of many different parts of France.



Joan of arc carrying the Fleur de lis banner. King Charles VII of France

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