During these dreary days of winter, I have been occupying my time conducting some research on the rose. I found it interesting that with so many beautiful flowers, that the rose would be named our “National Floral Emblem”. In 1986 our dear President, Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation making the rose our “National Floral Emblem”. This was not the first time a resolution was put forth to designate a national flower. In 1965, Everett Dirksen, statesman from Illinois introduced senate joint resolution 19 which would designate the American Marigold as our National Floral Emblem. Apparently, it did not gather much steam, and in 1967 was put forth again with a recommendation that it again be sent to the committee of the judiciary for implementation. In his remarks, he sets the marigold on a high pedestal. “It is as sprightly as the daffodil, as colorful as the rose, as resolute as the zinnia, as delicate as the carnation, as haughty as the chrysanthemum, as aggressive as the petunia, as ubiquitous as the violet, and as stately as the snapdragon.It beguiles the senses and ennobles the spirit of man. It is the delight of the amateur gardener and a constant challenge to the professional.” Alas, the resolution never passed.
I think I can state with total honesty, that I have never been as beguiled by the marigold, as I have been the rose. The rose to me, is a true reflection of our national spirit. It is not the easiest flower to grow, just as our nation was not formed with ease. But formed by the blood and sweat of willing men and women who were yearning for a “more perfect union”. Just as the nation stands as a beacon of hope, so does the wonderful magical rose. Hope for a sweetheart who embraces a bouquet and the promise it brings. Hope for the aged as they receive roses from a stranger and hope for an aspiring gardener who enjoys the flush of a spring bloom. Hope for all humanity……..
Below is the text of Resolution 5574 which designates the rose as our National Floral Emblem. It inspired me. I hope it will do the same for you! Now is the time to plan for Spring planting! Order roses early…..
PROC. NO. 5574.
THE ROSE PROCLAIMED THE NATIONAL FLORAL EMBLEM OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Proc. No. 5574, Nov. 20, 1986, 51 F.R. 42197, provided:
Americans have always loved the flowers with which God decorates our land. More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life and love and devotion, of beauty and eternity. For the love of man and woman, for the love of mankind and God, for the love of country, Americans who would speak the language of the heart do so with a rose.
We see proofs of this everywhere. The study of fossils reveals that the rose has existed in America for age upon age. We have always cultivated roses in our gardens. Our first President, George Washington, bred roses, and a variety he named after his mother is still grown today. The White House itself boasts a beautiful Rose Garden. We grow roses in all our fifty States. We find roses throughout our art, music, and literature. We decorate our celebrations and parades with roses. Most of all, we present roses to those we love, and we lavish them on our altars, our civil shrines, and the final resting places of our honored dead.
The American people have long held a special place in their hearts for roses. Let us continue to cherish them, to honor the love and devotion they represent, and to bestow them on all we love just as God has bestowed them on us.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 159 [Pub. L. 99-449, now this section], has designated the rose as the National Floral Emblem of the United States and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation declaring this fact.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the rose as the National Floral Emblem of the United States of America.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.
Photo Credit: American Rose Society