Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Fleur de Lis - Symbol; Edwardian Hatpin

Fleur de lis, Edwardian hatpin, Howard and Marjorie Scharfe Hatpin Collection

The Fleur de Lis
or Flower of the Lily
Flower of the Lily. Fleur de Lis.  There is a long history to this symbol, that we connect with the history of France. However, it originated with the Roman Empire, see ://www.anthemflag.com/itemdetail71.htm. This one is a long Edwardian hatpin from our now-sold collection, see Howard and Marjorie Scharfe Hatpins Collection Tour.

 Fleur de Lis. Some believe it looks more like a lotus.


1. An angel presented one to the medieval King Clovis, founder of the Merovingian dynasty, when he converted to Christianity, some say at his crowning as an annointing vial of oil. That led to the idea that French kings were annointed directly by God, no intermediary such as a pope required.  See history and flag at ://www.anthemflag.com/itemdetail71.htm

2. King Louis VI adopted it for his shield (or Louis VII?)

See ://www.fleurdelis.com/fleur.htm

3. English kings used it to demonstrate their claim to the French throne. George III finally removed it in 1801 when he gave up that claim. See ://www.anthemflag.com/itemdetail71.htm

4. Knights appropriated it without any bona fides, so heraldry controls were instituted.

5. We see it in Politics: Joan of Arc used it/ And in Religion: The Roman Catholic Church connects it to the Virgin Mary, that it was a gift blessing in an apparition, see://www.anthemflag.com/itemdetail71.htm; or to the Trinity (the three "arms"); and in War: Some US Army divisions incorporate it to show martial strength.

6. Coats of Arms - for Quebec since 1948, see http://www.anthemflag.com/itemdetail71.htm, many countries, noted families, the Boy Scouts, and a Navy Blue Angels flight pattern. Same site

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Places for Next Trip. Stilt-Walking

Still to see:  From book, The Discovery of France - A Historical Geography from the Revolution to the First World War, by Graham Robb, W.W.Norton 2007. See The Grand Canyon of the Verdon. This is a deep cut in Provence's Alps, where the river rushes madly into Lac de Ste. Croix. Is sixty miles from Marseille. Second largest gorge in the world.

The book is the result of Mr. Robb's 14,000 bike journey and what he finds. Read how disparate the populations were in France through the 19th Century - languages, customs, Parisians had little idea.

We also want to see the heath of the Landes, where shepherds used to travel on 10 foot stilts, 75 miles a day, Picardy and Artois areas. For a history of stilt-walking:  see http://www.npr.org/2011/12/07/143276985/a-birds-eye-history-of-walking-on-stilts.

And must see the Marais Poitevin, a marsh.