The United States has designated various nation symbols, including the well-known national flag (American flag) and national anthem (The Star-Spangled Banner). These national symbols are used to represent the country. Although the national flag, anthem, and seal are the most popular national symbols in the US, the other national symbols are also equally important. Like most countries, the US has a national floral emblem. Regarded as a symbol of love and affection, the rose flower is the national flower of the United States. The rose flower is not only one of the most popular flowers in the US, but it has also played a significant role in the history and myths from ancient time to date. It is also the national flower of the Maldives and the United Kingdom.
Description of the Rose Flower
The rose is an old flower that has existed for over 35 million years. It grows naturally in many parts of the world including throughout North America. Roses come in several colors including red, white, pink, or yellow and has a sweet fragrance. The flower consists of five petals with each petal divided into two white or pink lobes. The four to five sepals are located beneath the petal. The rose hips and petals are edible and have been long been used as a form of medicine. The hips (fruits) are also eaten by some wild birds during the winter season.
Designating the National Flower
Although Americans love flowers, they hold the rose dear as a symbol of life and love, and a devotion to beauty and eternity. They speak the language of love to either their country or fellow human beings by giving out a rose. Roses are cultivated in most gardens across the country. The first president, George Washington, grew roses and even named one variety after his mother. The White House has a beautiful rose garden. The rose is also one of the few flowers grown in all the states and it features in almost all celebrations and parade. It is because of the popularity of this flower that the United States Congress, in 1985, passed a resolution asking President Ronald Reagan to declare rose as the country’s national floral emblem. The president signed a proclamation declaring the flower a national symbol on November 20, 1986.
Other Proposed National Flowers
Other flowers alongside the rose were proposed as the national floral emblem before the former was selected. One such flower is the native marigold, a brightly colored herbaceous flower that resembles sunflowers. The proponents argued that the flower can be found in all the 50 states and can endure the extreme temperature. They also added that the robustness of the native marigold depicted the character of the pioneers of the nation. Unlike the rose, native marigold is native to the Americas and nowhere else and many thought it would be designated the national floral emblem on that basis. However, the debate on the national flower was put on hold until later in the 1980s, culminating in designating the rose as the national flower.