The carnation, in general, is a symbolic flower that has to do with the bonds of affection. It is a symbol, also, of health and energy, along with fascination and love.
The name "carnation" comes from "coronation" or "corone," meaning flower garlands. This is because carnations were often used in Greek ceremonial crowns. Some scholars disagree with this and say that the name comes from the Latin word 'carnis' meaning 'flesh' because of its pink colour.
Every flower has a specific message. The carnations floral message dates back to ancient Rome. At that time, the carnation was known as "Jove's Flower." The Romans used this flower in their tribute to a beloved god.
In Korea, the carnation takes on very serious symbolism. There, a young girl may put three carnations in her hair to tell her fortune. If the top flower dies first, the girl knows that her last years of life will be difficult. If the middle flower dies first, her youth will be difficult. But, if the bottom flower should die first, the girl is told that her whole life will be miserable.
A carnation that is a solid color means "Yes."
A pink carnation carries the greatest significance, beginning with the belief that they first appeared on earth from the Virgin Mary's tears – making them the symbol of a mother's undying love. They are commonly known to say "I'll always be there for you." or/and "I'll never forget you"
A red carnation symbolizes admiration and says, "My heart aches for you."
The purple carnation is a symbol of unpredictability, spontaneity and capriciousness. It also means that something is whimsical and changeable.
White carnations symbolizes sweetness. They are also symbols of innocence and pure love.
It is also a show of friendship.
A striped carnation means "No." It is a symbol of refusal, and says, "I'm sorry I can't be with you."