The fleur de lis is a symbol that is deeply ingrained in Louisiana’s history. Seen in architecture, the state flag and on the helmets of the Saints, it’s everywhere.
But while it is now seen as the mark of our great state, it was once used to mark slaves.
“Code noir, those words are French and mean black code,” said slave historian Dr. Ibrahima Seck.
The black code was a set of regulations adopted in Louisiana in 1724 from other French colonies around the world, meant to govern the state’s slave population. Seck said those rules included branding slaves with the fleur de lis as punishment for running away.
It is all so ridiculous because it receives its power through the interpretation applied to it. Once the interpretation replaces the original meaning, the symbol takes on a new meaning, which can become opposite of its original intent.
The slave historian says the symbol makes him sad, but he and a history professor add that it shouldn’t be abolished.
Tulane history professor Terence Fitzmorris said the fleur de lis has roots in the French revolution and, similar to other symbols, was used as a mark of supremacy.
“It was a brutal way of scarring someone and also identifying someone as a particular troublemaker,” Fitzmorris said.
Knowing the symbol has that dark history, should it be compared to the likes of the confederate flag?
Fitzmorris said no.
“The fleur de lis was the symbol of a monarchy. The United States of America was a slave-holding republic, not just the south. Where do you stop? Do you get rid of all symbols?
Seck agrees, saying that the symbol has been embraced by the city as one of unity.
As The Daily Caller reminds individuals, “the symbol is also used currently in the coat of arms for the King of Spain.”
While these two do not think the symbol should be removed, plenty will. Anything and everything is up for grabs for removal from history if someone, anyone, or any group finds it offensive.
Americans are acting like ISIS, who goes around destroying historical, ancient and archaeological sites because it is “offensive” to Islam.
Offense can be found in anything if we look hard enough for it or choose to keep ourselves looking at the past. Anything can become a touchy subject if we let the ones who get offended win.