Memorial Day Flowers: A Complete Guide

Memorial Day Flowers: A Complete Guide

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May every year. This American holiday honors the memory of the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives in service to the U.S. military. It's a separate occasion from Veterans Day, which is celebrated every November 11. Flowers play a significant role in paying tribute to and respecting our soldiers, both living and deceased. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about Memorial Day flowers, including different types and the symbolism behind them.

Types of Memorial Day Flower Arrangements 

    • Memorial Day Flower Wreaths
      It's a tradition to remember the day and honor the memory of fallen service members by visiting cemeteries or memorials and laying flower wreaths on their graves. 
    • Patriotic Bouquets
      If you have a living family or friend, whether retired or currently in service to the U.S. military, you can express your gratitude and appreciation by sending them a patriotic bouquet on Memorial Day.
    • Floral Corsages and Boutonnieres 
      These are small floral decorations worn on a woman's wrist or a man's suit lapel during special formal occasions. They are usually custom-made for Memorial Day parties attended by service personnel.


    How to Choose Flowers for Memorial Day


      Poppies are best known as California’s state flower or floral emblem. But red poppies, in particular, also known as Flanders’ poppies, are the go-to flowers for Memorial Day. It's a tradition inspired by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae's poem “In Flanders Fields,” written in memoriam of those who died in war and their sacrifice. The poppies' vivid crimson color symbolizes the bloodshed and valor of fallen heroes, making them an iconic choice for Memorial Day wreaths, hand bouquets, and grave decorations. However, red poppies are not highly recommended for bouquets because they do not last as long as cut flowers. It's why some veterans' associations prefer to create cloth and paper poppies, known as remembrance poppies, to be worn on Memorial Day.


      Roses are versatile and easily accessible flowers that can be found in bouquets for any occasion, and Memorial Day is no different. Although they're iconic symbols of love and romance, red, white, and blue roses together represent the colors of the American flag, making them a sensible choice for patriotic floral arrangements. Aside from Memorial Day flowers, they are also popular among florists when creating floral arrangements for  Fourth of July, Veterans Day, and other similar occasions.

      3. Lilies

      Lilies are delicate, elegant blooms that can also make an appearance as beautiful Memorial Day flowers, incorporated in funeral wreaths and graveside bouquets. In flower meanings, white lilies are associated with the resurrection and rebirth of the soul after death. They can be laid on gravesites by themselves or displayed in arrangements to honor the purity of our fallen soldiers' intentions and sacrifice. The color white also represents peace and our hopes for a better future.


      Gladiolus flowers, known for their tall, stately spikes and bright colors, represent strength, integrity, and remarkable moral character. These attributes make gladiolus a meaningful choice for Memorial Day, as they reflect the virtues of the honorable men and women in the force. Its name is derived from the Latin word "gladius," meaning sword, which adds to its symbolic connection to soldiers. 

      Gladiolus are impressive in height and come in a wide range of colors, from deep reds to pure whites. They can be used to create stunning standing sprays, incorporated into wreaths, or ground floral arrangements in cemeteries and monuments.

      5. Hydrangeas

      Hydrangeas make gorgeous additions to any Memorial Day floral arrangement because they're available in patriotic red, white, and blue colors. In flower meanings, these cloud-shaped flowers symbolize heartfelt emotions, sincerity, and deep gratitude, while blue hydrangeas denote unity and loyalty. Being a hardy flower, the hydrangea's ability to thrive in various climates also reflects our fallen soldiers' enduring legacy and spirit.

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      Beyond their beauty, Memorial Day flowers are a tangible reminder to our servicemen that their courage, dedication to their duty, and the lasting impact of their sacrifice will never be forgotten. Their memory is woven into the fabric of our nation's history; we keep their memories alive through these flowers. 

      Browse Orchid Republic's stunning selection of floral arrangements. Let us know if you're ordering them for Memorial Day so we can provide a little flag. On the other hand, if you're looking for something more specific, please don't hesitate to reach out to our customer service hotlines. We can assist you with a custom bouquet or floral design according to your preferred flowers, color palette, and budget. 

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