This article to be read in conjunction with its companion piece
The Brit-Am and Tudor Roses
which has illustrations of points mentioned and more information.
Rose or "Shoshana Yaacov"
Symbol of Brit-Am and
Unification of the Tribes
The Brit-Am Rose
The Brit-Am Rose is the symbol of Brit-Am.
In Jewish Liturgy the expression "Shoshana Yaacov" (Rose of Jacob) represents all of Israel
In the Bible Israel is compared to a rose:
[Hos 14:5] I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily [Hebrew "shoshana" i.e. rose], and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
"Lily" in Hebrew is "shoshana" and actually means a rose. The rose (or rosette shape based on the rose) which (as a rosette) was a symbol of royalty in ancient Israel and in other nations.
In the beginning of the "Zohar" it says:
"`As the rose among the thorns, so is my love among the maidens' (Song of Solomon 2:2): What is the rose: It is the Assemblage of Israel, the Community of Israel. For there is a rose (above) and a rose (below). Just as the rose which is among the thorns has red and white, so does the Assemblage of Israel have justice and mercy. Just as a rose has thirteen petals, so does the Assemblage [Hebrew: "Knesset"] of Israel have thirteen measures of compassion encompassing it on all sides.
"...Five strong leaves surround the rose..."
In ENGLAND BETWEEN THE YEARS 1450 - 1485 there was a series of civil wars known as "Wars of the Roses" occurring between the rival Houses of York and Lancaster. Each side was represented by a rose,
York by a white rose, and Lancaster by a red rose. At the end of the struggle a partly Welsh noble named Henry Tudor became king. Henry claimed to unify in his person the two rival sides.
He chose as his symbol a rose with both red and white petals (i.e. a large red rose with a smaller white rose overlaid on it) and with five green leaves around it. Dr. Clifford Smyth of Ulster
supplied Yair Davidiy with color photographs of pictures from the Tudor Period depicting the Tudor rose. These paintings show that there then existed in England a real breed of rose that looked
like Tudor Rose. This rose, unbeknown to Henry, was (says the above quoted Zohar) the symbol of Israel. Henceforth the red and white petal "Tudor Rose" became the symbol of the English monarchs and
therefore of England itself. It still is an official symbol of Britain. The Tudor Rose admittedly has only ten petals whereas the "Rose of Israel" described in the Zohar has thirteen but then England
being dominated by the tribe of Ephraim represents only ten out of the original thirteen Israelite Tribes.
Henry Tudor was a great man: He came from a Ruling House legendarily connected with King Arthur and he may have been descended (as some believe) from King David. 'He has been called the Solomon of England'. He asserted the independence of England from Europe. The history of modern England as an outwardly looking independently minded great nation begins with Henry. His reign marks the beginning of that period in which the blessings promised to the seed of Israel would be realized in the British and British descended peoples!
The United States Congress in 1986 chose the rose as the national flower of the USA.
In the precincts of the HOLY TEMPLE in Jerusalem before its destruction there was a special rose garden situated between the present Western ("Wailing") Wall and the actual Temple (i.e. Holy of Holies, Mishna Middot ch.1). The Presence of God never left the Western Wall. This wall is only a remnant of the wall that surrounded the whole Temple complex.
The Temple complex is on the Temple Mount, which must be re-sanctified.
The Temple should be re-built.
Some authorities say that before the Third Temple is rebuilt the participation of the Lost Ten Tribes will be required.
The rose garden will have to be re-planted.
Below is a picture of Henry VII holding a REAL botanical prototype of the Tudor Rose in his hand.
Pictures forwarded to Brit-Am by Dr. Clifford Smyth of Ulster.
Here is a detail from the picture of Henry VII in which the rose may be seen more clearly.
Source: "An Illustrated Hostory of England", Collins, London, 1974
Before finally deciding on the Brit-Am Rose as our symbol we held a discussion on the Brit-Am e-mail Mailing List.
The remarks of some of our correspondents on this issue are shown below:
Bob Davis: "As the rose among the thorns" Symbol of Peace and Reconciliation
"The Tudor rose was a symbol of peace between two warring houses. The Rose is appropriate for Brit-Am because it will represent peace between Israel and Judah. The love-hate relationship between the two that has existed for centuries would therefore be replaced by a flower that symbolises love. Isn't love what this is all about?
If its about religion we will just keep on fighting."
"The year 2003 marked the fifth centenary of the marriage of James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor of England, who was the elder sister of King Henry VIII. This event led to the English throne being inherited by the Scottish royal house of Stewart exactly one hundred years later when James VI of Scotland was crowned James I of England. James I is mainly famous for authorising the translation of the Bible into English. The symbol of James and Margaret was the Tudor rose entwined with the thorny Scottish Thistle.
"`As the rose among the thorns, so is my love among the maidens' (Song of Solomon 2:2):"
Question on the rose
Joan Griffith wrote:
I just realized, you said 12 petals. Why not 13, for Ephraim & Manasseh? Just wondering. Does the 12 petals make it different from the Zohar rose??
Answer by Yair:
The Zohar rose has 13 petals. A 12 petalled rose would be different from the Zohar rose but also representative of all 12 branches of Israel. It would also be easier to design and copy. On the other hand 13 appears to be important for Manasseh (as the Thriteenth tribe) and is important in USA symbolism, e.g. on the Great seal (look at a dollar bill) the eagle carries 13 arrows, 13 petalled olive branch, 13 bars, 13 original states.
THE MOTTO OF THE TUDOR ROSE
by Stephen Spykerman
The Amazing Motto of the Tudor Rose
Having followed all the comments about Brit-Am's proposed emblem, I thought I would share my recent discovery about the Tudor Rose. It happened whilst my wife and I were on our way back home after
keeping the eight-day festival of Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles in Dorset in the S/E of England. After an hours drive we decided to stop off for coffee at a place called Wimborne Minster, and ancient
little Dorset market town. The town is dominated by its Minster, an almost cathedral sized church dating back 1300 years. We went around the town twice trying, to no avail to find a place to park.
In the end we parked in the private car park of the Minster and consequently we felt duty bound to visit the ancient church. As we entered the building the lady at the entrance informed us that
the 'CHAINED LIBRARY' would be opening in just a few minutes. She told us that it contained a rare collection of ancient books second only to the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. It was called
the 'Chained' library because the books were, according to centuries old custom chained to their shelves to prevent theft. To get to the library one had to ascend a stone stairway into an ancient tower.
The direction of the spiral staircase was opposite to the conventional. Staircases such as this are known as ecclesiastical or security staircases and were designed with the intention of allowing easier
defence of the rooms above by a swordsman. At that period swordsman were generally right handed and a right handed swordsman would have had considerable difficulty in ascending the spiral with a drawn
sword to attack the treasures held in the library. The library contains classic works of Plato, Plutarch, Pliny, Cicero and Machiavelli. Also numerous theological works of the Venerable Bede, Calvin,
Erasmus and many others, too numerous to mention. Amongst the many different Bibles was a volume of the Hebrew Scriptures by Menasseh ben Israel. The book that really caught my attention was a book
written by the great Tudor king Henry VIII. It was written before his breach with the Roman Catholic Church regarding his proposed divorce from Katherine of Aragon.
Only three copies are known to exist of this book: One is held by Her Majesty the Queen, the other is held by the Vatican, and the third I had the privilege of examining at Wimborne Minster.
The thick leather binding is embossed with the Royal Arms in its upper half and with the Tudor Rose in its lower part. What was so amazing about the illustration of the Tudor Rose was that it
was surrounded by a Motto written in Latin. I got really excited about this, as in all the heraldic books I have researched I have never come across one that referred to the motto of the Tudor Rose.
Henry VII, the father of Henry VIII was the first Tudor king to introduce the Tudor Rose. He clearly was fully aware of the origins of the symbolism of the red and white rose, and he almost certainly
devised the text himself. The words were considered to be of such significance that it was subsequently adopted as the royal motto of the Tudor family. What is so remarkable is that it conveys a powerful
allusion to the throne of David in ancient Israel. Like all mottos of that time it was phrased in Latin. The text reads: "Hac Rosa Virtutis de Celo Missa Cereno Eturnu(m) Florens (Fulgens) Regia Sceptra
Feret" and in modern English this reads; "This rose of virtue sent us from on high shall shine in sceptred state eternally".
Notice it speaks of a rose of virtue, e.g. (the rose of Israel) sent to us from on high, e.g. (by the God of Israel) shall shine in sceptred state eternally, meaning it shall rule for all of eternity.
This text can only be a reference to the throne of king David of Israel, as it alone was ever established for all of eternity. The patriarch Jacob was the first to prophesy of this sceptred throne on his
deathbed when he addressed his son Judah, saying, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes" (Gen. 49:10).
"Shiloh" was a reference to the Messiah, the prophesied Deliverer who would come to deliver and rule over a restored Israel in the end times. The prophet Nathan adds a further dimension to the prophecy
as he comes to king David of Israel and, speaking of his son Solomon, he utters the most amazing prophecy about the future of David's throne:
"When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name,
and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever . . . . And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever" (2 Samuel 7:12-13,16).
Here we have an immutable promise of the everlasting continuance of the Royal House and Throne of David. Henry Tudor in devising the motto of the Tudor Rose clearly affirmed that
he considered himself to be of the line of those Davidic descendants seated on this prophesied throne of David that was to last forever. The divine promise is further confirmed in the book of Psalms
and its absolute certainty is heavily emphasised once again: "I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David:
'Your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations'" (Psalm 89:3-4).
Your seed, your throne and your kingdom will be established forever and to all generations! What could be clearer than that! This is what the Tudor family, being themselves of the line of David, had
uppermost in mind when they devised the motto for the Tudor Rose. They considered the Tudor Rose to be 'that rose of virtue sent from on high' as a sacred charge in that it
represented the throne of David that shall shine in sceptred state (ruling over Israel) eternally?
The original Tudor Rose appeared in three versions:
1. Per Pale Gules and Argent
2. Quarterly I & IV Gules II & III Argent
3. A "double rose" with a White Rose superimposed on a Red Rose (with each of the roses consisting of five petals). Any other colouration is not a Tudor Rose.
You have to remember that the period of heraldry to which the Tudor Rose owes its birth is based, whether one likes it or not, on a system of primogeniture with the male's arms placed senior to any female
arms in 99% of occurrences. The other one percent would encompass those occasions where the Lady held a peerage title and her husband did not, the peerage title being senior to a non-peerage armiger.
Thus, when parted 'per pale', the male arms (Henry's, as a Lancastrian) are placed on the left hand side of the shield (from the viewer's position) and the female arms (Elizabeth of York's arms)
on the right (sinister).
When they were displayed 'Quarterly' the male arms were in the first and fourth quadrants and the female arms were placed in the second and third quadrants.
When they were displayed as a 'double' rose, they were two distinct roses each bearing its own set of barbs (green leaves). They were arranged heraldically with the House of Lancaster (the red rose)
being the main arms with the 'arms in pretence' of the white rose of the House of York as Elizabeth was the only surviving offspring of Edward IV as head of the House of York.
The children of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York were then entitled to display the arms as Quartered rather than as a double rose. Henry, as the surviving progeny of Henry VII and
Elizabeth of York would then display the 'arms' inherited from his parents. The first Tudor Roses used by Henry VIII's retainers were as per #2 above.
I also refer to the sister article to be found at http://britam.org/Rose.html where some of the Tudor Roses displayed are not heraldically correct and
you have omitted the per Pale and Quarterly versions.
Unless stated otherwise, a Tudor Rose is depicted as per #3 above and is always tinctured as 'proper' with one of the green barbs of the red rose at the 12 o'clock position and at the 6 o'clock position
for the inner white rose.