본문 바로가기
  • Home

A Study of the History and the Meaning of the Fleur-de-lis in French Royal Heraldry

  • Cross-Cultural Studies
  • 2019, 57(), pp.149-176
  • DOI : 10.21049/ccs.2019.57..149
  • Publisher : Center for Cross Culture Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Literature
  • Received : November 10, 2019
  • Accepted : December 3, 2019
  • Published : December 30, 2019

Ko, Bong-mann 1

1충북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

First adopted as the royal heraldry of France in the middle of the 12th century, the fleur de lis has for a long time become not only identified with the French Royal House, but also with France itself. Nevertheless, the documents and studies on it were scarce and poor. This is because since the French Revolution, the symbol has been a politically sensitive subject, the fleur de lis being so strongly associated with the monarchy that revolutionaries erased and destroyed it on many time-honoured works of architecture and art. This paper aims to illuminate the meanings of the fleur de lis for French royal heraldry, which has been unnoticed by researchers, because it could not be fairly interpreted, and to restore its academic value. According to Michel Pastoureau, a French professor of medieval history, with heraldry serving as cultural code for interpreting contemporary society, it is very significant to examine the meanings of the fleur de lis as French heraldry. I demonstrate when the fleur de lis began exactly as an official emblem in France, and how its shapes and meanings have changed from the historical context, based on the king’s seals, contemporary coins, and history books copied in medieval times. Then I examine how the honor of Mary in the 12th century changed Mary’s status in Western Christianity, and how it affected the color of French royal heraldry as represented in façades and stained glass windows in Gothic cathedrals. After tracking the historical background of the decline of heraldry in France starting with Ancien Régime, I investigate why the researches on heraldry are still important even today, and which direction they are heading in the future.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.