by Kenneth Ellis
The flag of the city of New Orleans (NOLA) in Louisiana consists of three gold flower motifs on a white background, with red and blue borders at the top and bottom, respectively. Fleur de lis New Orleans is the type of flower on the flag. It is a stylized version of either the lily or the iris, both of which are very similar. The colors of the flag, which are the same as those of the United States flag, are red, white, and blue, and stand for fraternity, government, and liberty, respectively. The fleur-de-lis pops up everywhere in the city. It is a traditional French symbol that illustrates the city’s strong ancient links with French culture and heritage.
Located on the Gulf Coast, New Orleans is a major port for the United States. It got its name from the Duke of Orleans, Philippe II in the early 18th century. Philippe Charles was the nephew of Louis XIV of France. Born in early August 1674, Philippe was a leo. His mother and father had a tumultuous marriage.
Phillippe married his cousin Francoise Marie de Bourbon, the youngest legitimate daughter of Louis XIV. Like his father, he demonstrated an aptitude for military service. When he wasn’t serving, he studied natural science. He died in Versailles in 1723 at the age of 49.
The city of New Orleans lies between Lake Ponchartrain to the north, and Lake Salvador to the south. Lake Salvador is home to a wildlife management area. Lake Biloxi, which houses the Biloxi State Wildlife Management Area, is located east of Lake Ponchartrain.
The French weren’t the only Europeans to have an interest in NOLA. In the Treaty of Paris (1763), the French signed over the colony to Spain. During the American Revolutionary War, the port played a key role in smuggling supplies and aid to the rebels. Nearly all of the architecture of the French Quarter dates back to the Spanish period, apart from the Old Ursoline Convent.
The nuns of the convent occupied a series of buildings. The first building to house them, when they arrived in 1757, was a bit of a disaster. Usually in those days, buildings were protected from the elements by a coating of stucco. The timber walls of the convent were left bare, rendering the building vulnerable to the local humid climate, not to mention making it a fire hazard. The building was designed by architect Ignace Francois Boutin.
The second building, also designed by Boutin, was made of bricks and stucco, along with colombage. Colombage is a mixture of clay and grass. This historic example of French Neoclassical architecture lasted the nuns until they moved to larger premises in 1824.
The proportion of NOLA residents who speak English as their native language is over 90 percent. The remaining 10 percent speak mainly Spanish, Vietnamese, and French. The fleur-de-lis is a common motif in NOLA’s culture, including the helmets of the local NFL football team, the New Orleans Saints.
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