American Justice, New Growth, And Traditional Louisiana Values
Chouest & Smith‘s official symbol, the Fleur-de-Law Shield, stands for American justice, new growth, and traditional Louisiana values.
The Fleur-de-Law (TM) also represents Louisiana, its French and Cajun heritage, Justice, as represented by the first statue of Lady Justice in Berne, Switzerland, and the Chouest family lineage, from Switzerland to present day Louisiana.
Shields have been used as important symbols since 1127, when King Henry I of England presented his son-in-law with a special shield containing golden lions at a knighting ceremony to distinguish his men from enemy soldiers.
In civilized society, Justice, encompasses concepts of fairness, law, ethics, morality, rationality, and equity. Justice is symbolized by the scales of justice, which are sometimes held by Lady Justice (Iustitia, the Roman Goddess of Justice), which dates back to 1543, when a statue was erected on the Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen (Fountain of Justice) in Berne, Switzerland.
The Fleur-de-Lis was used as the armorial emblem of the kings of France since King Philippe II (1180-1214) and it may have been previously used by his father, King Louis VII of France. In 2008, the State of Louisiana officially made the Fleur-de-Lis an official state symbol in recognition of Louisiana’s French heritage and the state’s rebirth and renewal following Hurricane Katrina, which now allows the Fleur-de-Lis to be used on official state documents.
The name “Chouest,” and the direct lineage of the Chouest & Smith’s founder, Stephen M. Chouest, has been traced back eight generations to George Schweitzer of Germany in 1700. The Schweitzer name is believed to have originated in Ringgenberg, Switzerland. Ancient family listings attest to Schweitzers in Ringgenberg in the 16th century during the Reformation. By the early 1800s the name “Schweitzer”, meaning “man from Switzerland”, evolved to both “Chouest” and “Schouest.” George Schweitzer’s son, Joseph (Schouest) Schweitzer moved from Germany to the German Coast of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. In 1760, Francois Joseph (Schouest) Schweitzer was the first Chouest actually born in Louisiana. He established his domicile in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. Five generations later, Jefferson F. Chouest was born in Lafourche Parish to Cajun French speaking parents who spoke no English. Jefferson F. Chouest married and moved to New Orleans, where Stephen M. Chouest was born.