Gertrude Stein Was Wrong

A rose is a rose, but not just a rose anymore. After nearly a century of often prickly debate, the House of Representatives voted last week to dub it the "national floral emblem."

Trying to pick a national flower has been a hardy perennial in Washington politics. More than 70 different bills have been introduced over the years, promoting a veritable bouquet of blossoms, including the carnation, corn tassel, chrysanthemum and even clover. The late Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois long campaigned for the humble marigold, praising its virtues in one flowery speech after another. His son-in-law, former Republican Majority Leader...

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