LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's a symbol that's been a part of Louisiana's history for decades. Most sports fans will recognize it as the New Orleans Saints' logo.
There's no question that nearly everyone has seen the Fleur de lis, but do you know what it means?
Translated literally, the term means "flower of lily."
Most people will recognize the symbol as the emblem of the New Orleans Saints, but the fleur de lis has a diverse and rich history behind it.
No one may know for certain where the fleur de lis came from, but for centuries it's been tied to European royalty, particularly in France.
The symbol is also closely associated with the Trinity and the Virgin Mary.
According to Father Keith Pellerin of St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church, a French king named Clovis was at war and needed to cross a river to conquer his enemies. After he advanced to the other side, Clovis noticed a bed of irises. Clovis would eventually attach the irises to his weapon and after securing victory, the king would become a fervent believer that the irises were the reason he won. Because of this, the fleur de lis is also believed to mean "victory."
Father Pellerin says many Saints fans are certainly praying the fleur de lis brings the team a victory at Super Bowl 44.
Pellerin says the irises were later replaced with lilies, which gives the symbol its modern day name, fleur de lis.
In recent years, the symbol has turned up as a logo for the New Orleans Hornets, the flag of Acadiana and it's included as part of the Acadian Ambulance logo, to name just a few.
Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the fleur de lis also served a rallying symbol for storm victims.
In 2008, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed legislation that made the fleur de lis Louisiana's official state symbol.