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United States of America

The rose is the national flower of the United States of America.

On November 20th, 1986 President Raegan officially declared the rose as the national flower, stating "More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life and love and devotion, of beauty and eternity." The White House boasts a beautiful rose garden and in fact, George Washington himself bred Roses, affectionately naming a variety after his mother.

Image Above: Ronald Raegan signs Proclamation 5574, American Rose Society


This dish is made of a few southern staples courtesy of local Soul Food restaurant "Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles" ; cornbread, candied yams, and greens.⁣⁣⁣⁣

I chose a yellow rose as a nod to the classic folk song "the yellow rose of Texas". Many people do not know that this popular southern tune tells the tale of a legendary woman, Emily D. West.

(Image: The African American Registry)

The Legend of "The Yellow Rose of Texas"

The historical facts are truly unknown, but the story goes like this:

Emily was a free young light-skinned black woman from New York who traveled to Texas in 1835. She entered into a contract with Col. James Morgan to work as an indentured servant on his plantation. Morgan established the little settlement of New Washington. In 1836 Texas was at war with Mexico and Emily was captured. With Emily in tow, Mexican Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna led his troops in search of Sam Houston’s army.

The two armies met on the San Jacinto battlefield on April 21, 1836, when the Texans caught the Mexican army by surprise. The supposed reason is that Santa Anna’s attention was diverted by Emily, who was “closeted” in his tent.

West’s forced separation from her black lover and her placement in Santa Anna’s camp, according to legend, inspired her lover to compose the song “The Yellow Rose of Texas.”

The original lyrics suggest that the song was written by a black man about a beautiful "mulatto" woman, her color being described as "yellow".

The song-writers portrayal of his yearning for Emily is significant to African American folklore. Comparing her beauty to that of a rose gave her a value not often afforded to women of color at that time and cemented Emily's place in history.  

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