When the Trail of Tears started in 1838, the mothers of the Cherokee were grieving and crying so much, they were unable to help their children survive the journey. The elders prayed for a sign that would lift the mother’s spirits to give them strength.
The next day a beautiful rose began to grow where each of the mother’s tears fell. The rose is white for their tears; a gold center represents the gold taken from Cherokee lands, and seven leaves on each stem for the seven Cherokee clans.
The wild Cherokee Rose grows along the route of the Trail of Tears into eastern Oklahoma today.