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Icons of England [8]
The British government launched the project “Icons of England” at the beginning of 2006. For two years thousands of people in England and abroad named the most important symbols of Great Britain. You’ll find the descriptions of the most popular symbols in this section. We are going to organize a poll asking the guests to answer the question: “What do you think are the most important symbols of Great Britain?”
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The Rose

The national flower of England is the rose. No wonder so many people voted it a national icon.
It all started during the time of the Wars of the Roses - civil wars (1455-1485) between the royal house of Lancaster (whose emblem was a red rose) and the royal house of York (whose emblem was a white rose).
At the end of the war the two roses were combined in the Tudor rose. The idea belonged to Henry VII, the first Tudor monarch and the father of Henry VIII. Henry was a Lancastrian, but he fell in love with Elizabeth of York, married her - and united the two houses. Looking for a symbol of this union, chose a red rose with a white rose in it.

During the Tudor period, hundreds of inns were named the Rose - to show loyalty to the royal family. There are still many pubs and hotels all over the country named after this flower.
In 1871, the newly formed Rugby Football Union selected an England team to play the
first ever international match against Scotland. The committee chose a red rose as the team's badge. Although England lost the match, held in
Edinburgh, the country's rugby teams have worn red roses ever since.

Every country in the United Kingdom has its own national flower.
The national flower of Scotland is a wild plant - a thistle. The Welsh emblem is a vegetable or a flower - a leek or a daffodil. And the national flower of Northern Ireland is another wild flower - a shamrock.

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