The Dutch have a saying, roughly translated, ‘death or the gladioli', meaning all or nothing. It is thought that this phrase was being chanted in the arena in Roman times by the frantic spectators on the stands who were watching the gladiators fight each other to the death in a thrilling sword fight. After a heroic fight the victor was buried in gladioli by the cheering crowds. The name is derived from the Latin word ‘gladius' meaning sword, after the sword-like shape of the flower. The gladiolus has become a sign of strength and victory; a flower earned after a great achievement.