By Joyce Arlene Corson
SYRACUSE — Red, white and blue were the colors that made up the American flag when it was officially adopted in 1777.
These colors and their significance trace back to the birth of this country, and their meaning was explained when the great seal of the U.S., which incorporates these same colors, was created in 1782: “White signifies purity and innocence. red, hardiness and valor, and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice.”
Choose any flowers in a combination of red, white and blue to celebrate the Fourth of July or any other patriotic holiday throughout the year. Red: carnations, roses, anthurium, and zinnia. White: lilies, Queen Anne’s lace, lily of the valley, carnations and daisies. Blue: hydrangea, cornflower, statice, lark-spur and delphinium.
The iconic red rose is the most recognized flower in the world, and its red color is symbolic of the red color in the American flag. Plus, it’s the national flower of the United States!
When promoting the rose to be the national flower in 1986, Sen. J. Thomas Heflin so eloquently wrote: “All flowers are delicate, each can refresh and amuse, and that is the reason I feel no flower should loose. Still the rose is universal, its support has a strong voice, so there should be no question that the rose is the choice”.
The word “pansy” derives from the French word “pensee,” which means “to think,” “reflect upon” or “ponder.” Symbolizing thoughtfulness and remembrance, pansies are perfect for remembering those who have fought for our country.
A popular wildflower, red poppies, Flanders Field, signify memory, consolation, and death and have been long regarded as a symbol of remembrance for the military and fallen soldiers. Usually worn or displayed on Memorial Day, red poppies fit in with a patriotic holiday.
Nasturtium is a flower that blooms in bright red, orange and yellow colors and is commonly associated with patriotism, conquest and victory in war. Also symbolizing patriotism, love, loyalty and strength, these cheerful, warm blooms add a pop of color to any garden or bouquet.
Fragrant and colorful freesia symbolize freedom. A sturdy bloom with flowy petals, Feesias make a great cut flower because they have a long vase life. Add them to your patriotic bouquet of freesia stems and hand them out to guests as a beautiful and patriotic party favor.
These charming star-shaped white flowers fit perfectly with any patriotic theme as their shape resembles the stars on the American flag. Additionally, Edelweiss flower symbolize strength and courage, which make them perfectly patriotic.
Also known as Nerine lilies, these wonderfully unique blooms have tall, spiky stamens surrounded by long curving petals that resemble a firework display when bunched together. Growing in colors such as bright pink, warm reds and white, Guernsey lilies also symbolize freedom and good fortune, making them a perfect choice for celebrating the Fourth of July.
Not only is the blue color appropriate for patriotic arrangements, but blue irises also symbolize hope, faith and courage. Pair the blue irises with red roses and white daisies for striking, patriotic display.