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Jung Lee made roses and iris stars of U.S. state dinner gala

What flowers were used for the U.S. state dinner honoring French president Emmanuel Macron?

Created by event planner Jung Lee – and her company Fete – the flowers are inspired by how both the U.S. and French flags are red, white, and blue. The flowers are mainly roses – the U.S. national flower – including the American Beauty variety and Piano Roses. The American Beauty rose was bred by Henri Lédéchaux in France in 1875 and was originally named  “Madame Ferdinand Jamin.”

It was Ronald Reagan who signed the bill for the U.S. to have the rose as its official U.S. flower in 1986. It’s a good thing that the marigold didn’t win, as it almost happened because it could have impacted Jung Lee’s color scheme and vision for this event.

The tall candelabras holding the garnet red candles were meant to mimic the Statue of Liberty, which is France’s gift to the U.S.

France’s state flower is the fleur-de-lis. Look at how she incorporated this lovely flower and had it draped individually in bud vases. The three petals of the iris symbolize the holy trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit but also harken back to Louis VII. He loved the iris and officialized the flower as the exclusive royal decoration by wearing a blue robe with golden irises on his coronation. In fact, it was called the fleur-de-loys, translated as the flower of a lily which is why some confuse the lily with the state flower instead of the iris. But it is the iris that is France’s state flower.

After the pandemic put the pause button on state dinners, this marks the first state dinner in several years. It honors France, America’s oldest ally. The glamorous event hosted 300 people and is President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden’s first state dinner after two years in office. More state dinners are planned in the near future.

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