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Symbols of U.S. Government:
National Floral Emblem - The Rose

The rose, said to be about 35 million years old, has been used as a symbol of love, beauty, war, and politics throughout the world. The flowers are generally red, pink, white, or yellow and grow naturally throughout North America. The rose became the official flower of the United States in 1986.

In October 1985, the Senate passed a resolution that declared the rose as the National Floral Emblem of the United States. Senate Joint Resolution 159 was passed by the House of Representatives on September 23, 1986.

The resolution asked the president to issue a proclamation declaring the rose as the national flower. A proclamation announces an act by the government and does not have the effect of law.

President Reagan signed the resolution on October 7, 1986 in a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. On November 20, 1986, President Reagan issued Proclamation 5574: The National Floral Emblem of the United States of America: The Rose.

Did you know?

  • Our first President, George Washington, bred roses, and a variety he named after his mother is still grown today.

To learn more, check out the following resources:

  • The United States Code, Title 36 (Patriotic and National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organization), Chapter 3 (National Anthem, Motto, Floral Emblem, and March), Section 303 (Floral Emblem) contains information on the law and proclamation for the rose becoming the national floral emblem.