The term rose is applied to numerous shrubs and vines in the genus Rosa. They
come in a variety of colors, have a fragrant scent and thorns on their stems.
The rose has been favored by many everywhere. The edible petals have been added
to salads and used in medicines since the times of antiquity. It was sacred to
Aphrodite. It is the national flower of the United States. It is the official
flower of New York State. The wild rose is the Iowa State flower and the prairie
rose the state flower of North Dakota. The American Beauty is the flower of the
District of Columbia. The rose is also the emblem of England. Two of the most
famous roses are the white rose that served as the emblem for the house of York
and the red rose for the house of Lancaster in the Wars of the Roses. For a
brief sojourn of the official flowers of the various states click
The Making of the
National Floral Emblem
September 23, 1986, the House of Representatives passed a joint resolution
naming the rose as the "national floral emblem" of the United States.
The Senate had passed the resolution in 1985.
The measure then went to
President Ronald Reagan. He signed the resolution into law on October 7, 1986 in
a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.
On November 20, 1986, President
Reagan signed Proclamation 5574: The National Floral Emblem of the United States
of America: The Rose. (Note: a proclamation announces an act by the government;
it does not have the effect of law.)
"President Rose To The Occasion", San Jose Mercury News,
October 8, 1986, p. 6A
Facts on File, 1986 p. 774
Chase's Annual Events, 1988 p. 284
Vanderbilt University. Television News Archive.
is listed a copy of both the U.S. law that proclaims the rose as the
National Flower, and the Proclamation made by the President of the
United Sates of America, that the law requested be written.
TITLE 36. PATRIOTIC SOCIETIES AND OBSERVANCES
CHAPTER 10--PATRIOTIC CUSTOMS
187. National floral emblem
flower commonly known as the rose is designated and adopted as the
national floral emblem of the United States of America, and the
President of the United States is authorized and requested to declare
such fact by proclamation.
99-449, Oct. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 1128.)
No. 5574. The Rose Proclaimed the National
Floral Emblem of the United States of America
No. 5574. Nov. 20, 1986, 51 F.R. 42197, provided:
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.
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
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.
Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 159 [Pub.L. 99.449, Oct. 7, 1986,
100 Stat. 1128, which enacted 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.
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.
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