Leave me not behind
In memories of your mind
In a German legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out, “Forget-me-not, O Lord!” God replied, “That shall be your name.”
Prior to becoming the tenth province of Canada in 1949, Newfoundland (then a separate British Dominion) used the Forget-me-not as a symbol of remembrance of that nation’s war dead. This practice is still in limited use today, though Newfoundlanders have adopted the Flanders Poppy as well.
Freemasons began using the flower in 1926 as a symbol well known in Germany as message not to forget the poor and desperate. Many other German charities were also using it at this time. In later years, by a handful of Masons, it was a means of recognition in place of the square and compass design. This was done across Nazi occupied Europe to avoid any danger of being singled out and persecuted.
The symbol of the forget-me-not in modern Masonry has become more prevalent and exaggerated claims about the use of the symbol are often made in order to promote sales of bumper stickers of the symbol. Today it is an interchangeable symbol with Freemasonry and some also use the Forget-me-not to remember those masons who were victimized by the Nazi regime. In English Freemasonry it is more commonly now worn to remember those that have died as a symbol that you may be gone but not forgotten.
Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The moose-ear forget-me-not, Myosotis laxa, has now extended its racemes very much, and hangs over the edge of the brook. It is one of the most interesting minute flowers. It is the more beautiful for being small and unpretending; even flowers must be modest.”
- Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of Heaven,
- Blossom the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.
In his 1947 long poem “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction,” Wallace Stevens mentions the forget-me-not, using its scientific Greek-derived name:
- It observes the effortless weather turning blue
- And sees the myosotis on its bush.
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling when Harry Potter first meets Professor Lockhart, Professor Lockhart “…was wearing robes of forget-me-not blue that exactly matched his eyes…” (chapter four page 59 of the 1999 American edition).