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King Clovis and irises...

>								 Royalty
>	 and irises date back to at least the 6th century AD to the time of
>	Clovis I, King of the Franks.....

	Since more than one person was curious about Clovis and irises, here
	it is:

	The heraldic fleur-de-lis almost certainly derives from the iris
	flower. According to John Guillim, in `A Display of Heraldie', pub-
	lished in 1610, the fleur-de-lis "is in Latine called Iris".

	Its origins derive apparently from the time of Clovis I, King of
	the Franks in the sixth century AD, whose army was being pursued
	by the Goths and was trapped by a bend in the river at Cologne.
	Clovis caught sight of yellow irises growing far out in the water,
	and realized that the river had to be shallow enough at that point
	for his army to cross to safety. Having escaped, he showed his debt
	to the iris by adopting the flower as his emblem.

	In the twelfth century, the emblem was revived by the French King,
	Louis VII, who adopted it as his own during the Crusades, whereupon
	it was christened the `Fleur-de-Louis', or fleur-de-lis.

	According to Hollingsworth in his `Flower Chronicles', so potent a
	symbol of the monarchy had the fleur-de-lis become in France by the
	eighteenth century that the Revolutionaries, in 1789, set out to
	obliterate it, chipping it off buildings and tearing it down from
	draperies. Men were guillotined for no more than wearing a fleur-
	de-lis on their clothes or jewellery. The iris has also been called
	the flower of chivalry: " a sword for its leaf, an a lily for its
	heart", and the three points of the fleur-de-lis are reputed to stand
	for faith, wisdom and valor.

	This was taken from the book, `Irises, A Romantic History with a

		Guide to Cultivation', by Susan Berry. (p. 17)

	It is nice to see I. pseudacorus being the hero in Clovis' legend.

	Peace to all in this season,

	Ellen Gallagher    e_galla@moose.ncia.net

	In Northern New Hampshire, we are having a white Christmas as always
	but we drove South today about 50 miles and they had a green or
	Christmas Day. We were glad to get back to our Winter Wonderland of
	ice and snow. Loving it. :-))

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