Etymological Meaning of the Iris Flower. Iris was the messenger of the Olympian gods and personifies the rainbow, therefore being its goddess. In some texts she is depicted wearing a coat of many colors. See Article History. The iris earned its name from the ancient Greek Goddess Iris, a messenger to the gods who was thought to use the rainbow as a bridge between heaven and earth. Iris is a champion show-off when it comes to color. It was believed that Iris was responsible for replenishing rain clouds from seawater to provide bountiful rainfall. Iris comes in a rainbow of colors. She had gold wings attached to her shoulders and winged sandals on her feet. Its looped form bears a resemblance to an Ankh. She was usually depicted standing beside Zeus or Hera, sometimes serving nectar from her jug. The tyet was used in funerary rites. According to the Greek poet Hesiod, she was the daughter of Thaumas and the ocean nymph Electra. Depictions of the goddess Isis show her wearing an empty throne on her head. Iris is also the goddess of the sea and sky, since her father was a marine-god, and her mother a cloud-nymph. In some parts of the world, the dark blue or purple iris can denote royalty, whereas the yellow iris can be a symbol of passion. Iris is represented either as a rainbow, or as a beautiful young maiden with wings on her shoulders. Also, the Greek goddess Iris is associated with both the iris and rainbows. It is also said the its three upright petals symbolize faith, valor, and wisdom. If her wings were missing in the artistic representations, she was pictured holding a caduceus, which was also a symbol of hers. By some accounts, the ancient Greeks believed the rainbow was actually the … The iris got its name from the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris. Iris is often pictured with a staff known as a kerykeion (similar to a caduceus) or an oinochoe (water pitcher). Irises may also express courage and admiration. In Hesiod’s works, at least, she had the additional duty of carrying water from the River Styx in a ewer whenever the gods had to take a solemn oath. In fact, the word iridescence means rainbow. Depending on factors such as color and region, irises may bear additional meanings as well. This personification of a rainbow was once described as being a link to the heavens and earth. This goddess used rainbows as a bridge to allow her to move between realms. It is sometimes called the knot of Isis and it stands for her protection. Iris flower meaning is highly associated with heroism, valor, and prowess, which is also adopted in many cultures around the world. It is also associated with resurrection and eternal life. ris symbolizes good news and luck. Iris, in Greek mythology, the personification of the rainbow and (in Homer’s Iliad, for example) a messenger of the gods. 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