In folklore, cornflowers were worn by young men in love; if the flower faded too quickly, it was taken as a sign that the man's love was not returned.
In herbalism, a decoction of cornflower is effective in treating conjunctivitis, and as a wash for tired eyes.
The blue cornflower has been the national flower of Estonia since 1968 and symbolizes daily bread to Estonians. It is also the symbol of the Estonian political party, People's Union, the Finnish political party, National Coalition Party, and the Swedish political party, Liberal People's Party, and has since the dawn of the 20th century been a symbol for social liberalism there.
The blue cornflower is also one of the national flowers of Germany. This is partly due to the story that when Queen Louise of Prussia was fleeing Berlin and pursued by Napoleon's forces, she hid her children in a field of cornflowers and kept them quiet by weaving wreaths for them from the flowers. The flower thus became identified with Prussia, not least because it was the same color as the Prussian military uniform. After the unification of Germany in 1875, it went on to became a symbol of the country as a whole. For this reason, in Austria the blue cornflower is a political symbol for pan-German and rightist ideas. Members of the Freedom Party wore it at the opening of the Austrian parliament in 2005.
It was also the favourite flower of Louise's son Kaiser Wilhelm I. Because of its ties to royalty, authors such as Theodor Fontane have used it symbolically, often sarcastically, to comment on the social and political climate of the time.
The cornflower is also often seen as an inspiration for the German Romantic symbol of the Blue Flower.
In France it is the symbol of the 11th November 1918 armistice and, as such, a common symbol for veterans (especially the now defunct poilus of World War I), similar to the poppies worn in the United Kingdom and in Canada.
The cornflower is also the symbol for motor neurone disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
It was the favorite flower of John F. Kennedy and was worn by his son, John F. Kennedy, Jr. at his wedding in tribute to his father.
There is a vocalist, beatboxer, one-man band in the Pacific Northwest of the United States whose stage name is Cornflower. He has studied with Bobby McFerrin and has toured through the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
A Norwegian-style violinist in the Southwestern United States has the stagename Cornflower (Korn Flower).
Cornflowers were also used in the funeral wreath made for Pharaoh Tutankhamun.
See also: Flowers Sydney, Flowers Melbourne, Gifts Australia
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