Signum of Merowingian King, 28 x 28 mm, 2 rivets, Antique brass plated.
The fleur-de-lis (or fleur-de-lys, plural: fleurs-de-lis; pronounced /ˌfləː(r)dəˈliː/; pronounced [ˌflœː(ʀ)dəˈlɪs] in Quebec French) is a stylized design of either an iris or a lily that is now used decoratively as well as symbolically, or it may be "at one and the same time, political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic", especially in heraldry. While the fleur-de-lis has appeared on countless European coats of arms and flags over the centuries, it is particularly associated with the French monarchy in a historical context, and continues to appear in the arms of the king of Spain and the grand duke of Luxembourg, members of the House of Bourbon. It is an enduring symbol of France that appears on French postage stamps, though it has never been adopted officially by any of the French republics. In North America, the fleur-de-lis is often associated with areas formerly settled by France, such as Quebec and Louisiana, and with French-speaking people in other Canadian provinces. It is also the emblem of the city of Florence, and of the Swiss municipality of Schlieren. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the flag of Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1992 to 1998 contained six fleurs-de-lis and is used as a national symbol of Bosniaks. In the United Kingdom, a fleur-de-lis has appeared in the official arms of the Norroy King of Arms for hundreds of years. The Welsh poet Hedd Wyn used Fleur de Lys as his pen name when he won his chair at the National Eisteddfod of Wales (Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru), the national poetry contest. Fleurs-de-lis appear on military insignia and the logos of many different organizations, and, during the 20th century, the symbol was adopted by various Scouting organizations worldwide for their badges. Architects and designers may use it alone or as a repeated motif in a wide range of contexts, from ironwork to bookbinding, especially where a French context is being implied. As a religious symbol, it may represent the Trinity, or be an iconographic attribute of the archangel Gabriel, notably in representations of the Annunciation. In such contexts, the fleur-de-lis is associated with the Virgin Mary. The symbol is also often used on a compass rose to mark the north direction, a tradition started by Flavio Gioja, a Neapolitan mariner of the fourteenth century. It is represented in Unicode on the Miscellaneous