Sunday, June 13, 2010

Symbolism of the Red Rose of Lancaster

The Red Rose of Lancaster was the House of Lancaster's badge during the Wars of the Roses. Upon Henry Tudor's ascension to the throne the rose was merged with the White Rose of York to form the Tudor Rose. The Tudor Rose is used as the plant badge of England (Scotland uses the thistle, Ireland uses the shamrock, and Wales uses the leek).

The rose does not form any part of the insignia of the Duchy of Lancaster, but came to be seen as an emblem of the county of Lancashire, and as such was incorporated in the coats of arms of numerous Lancashire local authorities including the county council. Since 1974 a number of metropolitan boroughs in Greater Manchester and Merseyside have included red roses in their armorial bearings to show their formation from parts of Lancashire.

From the nineteenth century the red rose was part of the badge of a number of units of the British Army recruiting in the county. In World War I the rose was worn by British 55th (West Lancashire) Division during their campaign in Belgium; their motto was "They win or die, who wear the Rose of Lancaster". The cap badge of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, formed in 2006, features the rose.

The Saskatoon Light Infantry of the Canadian Army also incorporated the red rose into the design of their cap badge and regimental buttons, due to an alliance with the York and Lancaster Regiment of the British Army.

The Canadian city of Montreal, has a Lancastrian rose in the top right hand corner of its flag, representing the city's historical English community. The City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania uses the Lancastrian rose as its seal and is known as the Red Rose City.

The traditional Lancashire flag, red rose on a white field, was never officially registered with the Flag Institute and when this was attempted it was found that this flag had been registered by the town of Montrose, Scotland. As two flags of the same design cannot be registered Lancashire’s official flag is now registered as a red rose on a yellow field.

Today the Red Rose is still widely used, Lancashire County Cricket Club still use the rose as an emblem. The Trafford Centre also feature Red Roses in its architecture, most noticeably on all of the glass panes in the shopping centre.


See also: Flowers Sydney, Flowers Melbourne, Gifts Australia

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