The Fleur De Lis

When people notice the fleur de lis tatoo on the back of my neck, it seems to trigger a vast amount of questions. Some of these questions include: "Are you from New Orleans?" or "Are you a Saints fan?" My favorite question is "Do you know that the fleur de lis the symbol for the boy scouts?" In order to clear up this confusion, I have decided to dedicate this blog post to the reasoning behind my fleur de lis tatoo; and also to share some of my experiences in my favorite city in the world New Orleans.
The fleur de lis which means "lilly flower" originally began as a symbol of French royalty. King Louis VI was the the first French King to use the fleur de lis on his shield. Since then, the fleur de lis has become the symbol of numerous organizations across the United States. The fleur de lis can be seen everywhere from New Orleans from jewelry, to paintings, street signs, and on the New Orlean's Saints jerseys.
There is not one main reason that I chose to get the fleur de lis as a tatoo; but rather multiple reasons. First, my love for the city of New Orleans helped to introduce me to the symbol of the fleur de lis. While visiting New Orleans for the first time in the spring of 2008, a tour guide told me that after Hurricane Katrina the fleur de lis became a symbol of rebirth. I didn't truly understand what this meant until after touring the Ninth Ward. As I looked out of the tour bus windows, I saw hundreds of abandoned houses with black spray painted numbers across the doors and outerwalls. The numbers represented how many were found dead inside the house after the hurricane. Seeing house after house with the same black numbers spray painted across the doors, made me realize just how many lives were lost during the hurricane. I could not believe that the city of New Orleans especially the people were able to overcome this tragedy in such a short amount of time. Like a pheonix who is reborn from the ashes, the people of New Orleans were able to welcome by family to their city with such hospitality and gratitude that forever touched my life.
Building upon the symbol of rebirth from New Orleans, leads me to my next reason that I got my tattoo. After the passing my mom, I went through one of the darkest periods of my life. However, after time I was able to gain a whole new perspective on life that has helped to mold me into the person that I am today. I really do feel that although I am the same person that I was five years ago, there are parts of me that have been changed.
Finally, my sister and I wanted to get the same tattoo to show our love for each other. The fleur de lis made perfect sense to us to show both the love for our mother; but also to show our strength and unity as sisters.
New Orleans is certain to change anyone's life as I know that it did mine. New Orleans I love you :)

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