The History of the French 23 fleurs-de-lis White flag: The French 23 fleur-de-lis flag and the same design with the coat of arms of France in the center are most commonly associated with ceremonial occasions from 1590 - 1790. There was no specified number of fleurs-de-lis for these flags. Actually this design was printed onto lengths of yard goods and cut off to size as needed. The origin of the fleur-de-lis symbol is not known for certain. Some have seen it as a flower, others as a weapon and still others as a frog. The original Banner of France was strewn with fleurs-de-lis.