Next in our student series, Maddie Dinges explores how we live with historic symbols and co-exist with the past everyday.
When touring a new city, we can follow history and heritage through it’s symbols, signs, and stories. Look closely or you’ll miss it! In this context, the history is literally written in the streets. Ever heard of the “Fleur de Lis”? This is a French term which can be translated to “Flower Lily” (pictured below).
This symbol can be found on gates, signs, and many other places! Because of its French relation, we can gather that the French migrated to the area. The Fleur de Lis is the symbol of the New Orleans Saints. This symbol can also be seen on flags; the flag of Quebec and Detroit. If you’ll notice, the places that I have named are locations that were previously settled by the French. Go figure!
Throughout the 1800s in Savannah, Georgia, a terrible epidemic struck the heart of the city; the gruesome yellow fever. We can see the history of its destruction throughout the city. This past October, the Davenport House put on a play following Georgia’s first female physician, Mary Lavinder, as she tries to cure those suffering from the yellow fever. Cool stuff! You can also find a sign in Colonial Park cemetery honoring the lives lost from the yellow fever epidemic (many of whom a buried there).
Another way we can learn more about an area is through the stories the locals tell. According to legend there is a tunnel under the old Candler hospital (now a law school) where the victims of yellow fever were deposited. The thought is that if they limited the exposure to the outside world, the less people will be effected. Supposedly these tunnels run under Forsyth Park. BEWARE OF THE GHOSTS.
For more information about symbols and signs, check these links out!