They’re one of the most popular colors of roses, and yet, the symbolism of red roses goes much deeper than most of us realize. On the surface, the meaning of a red rose reflects love and romance.
However, just like there are many degrees, types, and depths of love, the significance of a red rose can have subtle additional meanings depending on its unique shade and how it is presented.
For instance, the meaning of a red rose, when given as a single stem can symbolize an unchanging or everlasting love. So, a single red rose may be the perfect way to express a love that has always been unspoken, but is now coming into the light - like when two close friends realize there is more than just friendship between them. Or, the meaning of a single red rose might be a way for two people who have been together for a long time to simply say, “I love you now and I always will.”
On the other hand, a dozen red roses in a box, delivered to the object of your affection is a much bigger statement. Red rose flower arrangements of this size are said to communicate a desire to make a commitment, or to declare the exclusivity of a relationship.
The visual impact of a dozen red roses catches the attention of the recipient, but also others in the same area, making it clear that the recipient is “taken.” Likewise, 24 red roses’ symbolism is meant to say “I think of you 24 hours a day.” When it comes to red rose arrangements, numbers count!
The exact shade of red also matters when considering the meaning of red roses. The meaning of red roses that are bright, vivid, classic red speak of passion and desire. This stems from the 18th century when “proper society” did not allow women and men to openly court one another without a promise of marriage. During this era, red roses significance was to share a secret between two lovers away from the prying eyes of society. Around the same time, bright red roses’ meaning also came to symbolize courage and bravery. Historians credit this to a shared hue between red roses and the colors of England. Even today, the English flag (not to be confused with the Union Jack for Great Britain) is a crimson cross against a field of white. As English soldiers of the 1600s and 1700s marched off to war or returned home victorious, crowds would toss red roses to honor their valor.
The story of dark red roses’ meaning is equally fascinating. Burgundy and other deep-red roses meanings can express a love that is moving away from passion, and instead is deepening into something much more meaningful. The darkest of red roses can also mean that love is ending, which is why they are often appropriate when saying goodbye to a spouse at a funeral… it is a way of saying ‘my love lives on’ even though the pair can no longer be together. There is a mystery in the meaning of red roses of darker shades, a story longing to be told, but meant only for the giver and recipient to share. Truly, it is a way to make a memorable statement when giving gifts like red roses flower arrangements.
For many people, red roses symbolize their favorite color and the desire to be bold, daring, and stand out in a crowd. This makes red roses a perfect gift to give one’s self or to add to their home or work decor as a vivid pop of color that’s sure to get noticed.
It’s less about the other meanings of red roses and more about how the color makes them feel - alive, excited, and enthusiastic - which is always a positive expression to send to friends and others who are not romantic connections. Whatever your reason for giving red roses, the one thing you can be certain of is that it will get noticed… and almost always appreciated.
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