Theory on Why the Old Louisville Flag had 3 Fleur de Lis

June 13th, 2012

Recently we were working a neighborhood festival and had a City employee explain to us what he had always heard is the reason our old flag has three fleur de lis. Our theory has always been that it had to do with the design of the French Navy Flag, but he explained that each fleur de lis represented one century of Louisville’ existence.

When the flag was adopted in 1949, the City had existed for three centuries (18th, 19th, and 20th). Therefore, there were three images of the fleur de lis on the flag. He explained that in 2000 the flag should have included an additional fleur de lis, representing the 21st Century. We have found no evidence to support this theory, but thought it was pretty neat and that we should share. We will continue to look into the matter, and if anyone has any insight please drop an email to



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