[flœʁ də lis]) is a stylized lily (in French, fleur means flower, and lis means lily)
or iris that is used as a decorative design or symbol. It may be "at one and the same
time, political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic",
especially in heraldry. ~ from Wikipedia
fleur-de-lis ~ French for Flower of the Lily
The fleur-de-lis is common to all eras and civilizations, and there seems to be some debate as to its origin. Although its most probable origin is from the lilies on the banks of the Lys River in France, where well-known lilies, having only three leaves, called fleur de l'iris by the French, called the flower of the rainbow or iridis, which the French call fleur-de-lis.
The fleur-de-lis has appeared on Mesopotamian cylinders, Egyptian base-reliefs, Mycenean potteries, Sassanid textiles, Gaulish coins, Mameluck coins, Indonesian clothes, Japanese emblems and Dogon totems. The earliest known examples of the fleur-de-lis can be found on Assyrian base-reliefs from the third millenium BC. It is found on tiaras, jewelry, scepters, and on the coin of King Louis VI of France (1110-30).
In the 12 century, the French King Louis VI or VII became the first French king to use the fleur-de-lis on his shield. At the end of the 12 century, the fleur-de-lis took on a Cristic role representing the Holy trinity. Joan of Arc carried a white banner that showed God blessing the French royal emblem, the fleur-de-lis, when she led French troops to victory over the English in
support of the Dauphin, Charles VII, in his quest for the French throne."