Perhaps the most famous of all flowers, the rose has been a prominent symbol for many millennia. The symbolic meanings of this flower are almost innumerable, but one of the easiest ways to catalog them is by the color of individual blossoms.
Even more than its cousins, the white rose is a symbol of innocence and purity, qualities which come directly from its color. Connections to the realm of the feminine are also prominent; white roses have been variously associated with the moon, light, water, youth, and virginity.
A number of traditions have firmly latched onto these associations, and incorporated new ones. In Christianity, the white rose is used to represent the innocence and purity of the Virgin Mary, while in Islam it is a symbol of martyrdom. During the War of the Roses- a conflict that took place in England during the 15th century- the white rose was the emblem of the House of York, one of two principle parties vying for the throne.
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