2018 50c Peace Rose
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate- Forever
Issued: April 21, 2018
First Day City: Shreveport, LA
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Format: Booklet of 20
Quantity Printed: 40,000,000 stamps
Smuggled out of France just before the Nazi invasion, a new variety of rose emerged during World War II. Resilient and long-lasting, the aptly named Peace rose would go on to bring color and joy to the gardens of millions recovering from the war.
The Peace rose was developed between 1935 and 1939 by French horticulturist Francis Meilland. In anticipation of the German invasion of France, he sought to protect his beloved flower. Meilland sent cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the United States. Reportedly, the cuttings sent to America were on the last plane to leave France before the Nazi’s arrival.
Meilland’s friends received their cuttings, grew the roses in a variety of climates, and found they were hardy, vigorous, and disease resistant. The rose was then made available to the US public on April 29, 1945, the day Berlin fell and a truce was declared. In a special ceremony, two doves were released and the rose was named for the “world’s greatest desire: peace.” The Peace rose helped popularize gardening and eventually became one of the world’s most beloved roses.
At the first meeting of the United Nations in 1945, each of the delegates was presented a Peace rose in the hopes it would “influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace.”