Black Rose Symbolism in Modern Fiction, Politics & Romance

Black rose is a kind of rare rose that has negative as well as positive symbolism. A popular symbol in fiction, it typically connotes dark human emotions like agony, death, and mourning.

6 years ago
Black Rose Symbolism in Modern Fiction, Politics & Romance

A kind of rare rose, the black rose may seem to originate from the mystical world but it does exist in nature, in Halfeti perhaps. Its unusual color inspires mysticism and a magical feeling. Well, an incredible fact about black roses is that they don’t even have a slight shade of black. 

Technically speaking, they have a dark shade of maroon, red or purple. They are known to be placed in a pot of water mixed with black ink. In springtime, they blossom dark red and fade to black in the summers.

Let’s here know about the different symbolisms of the black rose in politics, romance, modern fiction, and other realms.

Black Rose Symbolism in Politics

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When it comes to politics, black roses have had an association with Irish nationalism. At once, the black rose was used as a codeword for Ireland when the English laws imposed a prohibition on mentioning Ireland as a sovereign nation.

Besides Irish nationalism, the black rose was also used as a symbol of anarchist movements at once. A Montreal anarchist publisher named ‘Black Rose Books’ was a small press imprint that was led by the libertarian-municipalist/anarchist called Dimitrios Roussopoulos. Of the two anarchist bookshops in Sydney, Black Rose Books has had an existence in different guises ever since 1982.

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An esteemed journal of anarchist ideas entitled ‘The Black Rose’ was published in the Boston area during the 1970s. ‘The Black Rose’ was even the name of an anarchist lecture series that was addressed by several distinguished anarchists and libertarian socialists (including Murray Bookchin and Noam Chomsky) during the 1990s.

Some say that during World War II, a group called White Rose was created to oppose the Nazis. The Nazis used a black rose to signify a symbol of all being well (triumph over a white rose) and a white rose to symbolize a traitor.

Black Rose Meaning in Modern Fiction

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In the world of modern fiction, black roses represent the devilish, erotic, and darker side of human nature. Vampires are generally depicted as having black roses. In the “Night World” series by L. J. Smith, the black rose symbolizes ‘made vampires’. The novelist Amelia Atwater-Rhodes also used black roses for symbolizing vampires in her novels including "Demon in My View", "Midnight Predator", and "In the Forests of the Night".

In Season 2, Episode 18 of the famous TV series ‘Revenge’, black roses symbolized dying love. “Black Rose” was the background music title for a level in the video game ‘Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem’. In another TV series ‘Babylon’, an episode shows a black rose, being given to a monk as a death symbol. This black rose is later put in a murdered woman’s mouth.

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The hard rock band Thin Lizzy’s single ‘Black rose’ from the same-titled album was a huge hit. Its lead singer and bass player believed in Irish mythology, claiming that the black rose was inspired by Irish mythology.

In "American Horror Story: Murder House", a psychotic teenage boy named Tate gives Violet a black rose and states that she doesn't like "normal things."

Buccara, black magic, Tuscany superb, black jade, barkarole, black velvet rose, and black beauty are the distinct meanings and titles of black roses.

What Does Black Rose Signify in Romance?

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While a red rose can be a romantic gift to someone, black roses symbolize tragic romance. It may relate to sadness that may happen in a relationship. A single black rose could be sent by a loved one or close friend who is leaving for war or on a journey from which he/she doesn’t expect a return. Giving a black rose to a lover means the end of a relationship.

And for some people, black roses represent deep and pure devotion. So when they’re gifted to a loved one, they might connote a deep and rare devotion just as the flower itself.

Meanings of Black Rose in Other Realms

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A black rose typically means dark things in life including agony, death, hatred, and mourning. Positive symbolism of the black rose also does exist. Just like a white rose, it can also represent the elegance, beginning of new things, and a journey into an unexplored place.

In the anime series, Revolutionary Girl Utena uses roses and their symbolism. Black roses connote a dark soul or the dark side of a person. In the Black Rose Duelists series, the black roses are used for describing the selfish interests and ignorance of the protagonists. And in the Saint Seiya series, the black roses are known as Piranha Roses in the Saint Seiya series, and they represent killing and attack.

Black rose symbolism can be elusive, it may be in a positive or negative sense. This rare flower’s meaning depends on the sender and receiver. So it’s better to leave a note explaining the purpose of sending black roses.


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