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Roses have been long used as symbols in a number of societies. Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. "Rose" means pink or red in a variety of languages (such as Romance languages, Greek, and Polish).
The rose was sacred to a number of goddesses (including Isis and Aphrodite), and is often used as a symbol of the Virgin Mary.
The ancient Greeks and Romans identified the rose with their goddesses of love, Aphrodite and Venus. In Rome a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where secret or confidential matters were discussed.
The phrase sub rosa, or "under the rose", means to keep a secret — derived from this ancient Roman practice.
A red rose (often held in a hand) is a symbol of socialism or social democracy: it is used as a symbol by British, Irish, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Brazilian, Dutch, Bulgarian and other European labour, socialist or social democratic parties, mostly adopted in the period after World War II.
The White Rose was a World War II non violent resistance group in Germany.