History of the Compass Rose

The Compass Rose first appeared on ships' navigational charts around 1300. “Rose” comes from the fact that the design looks like rose petals. The now standard 32-point Compass Rose with the fleur-de-lis indicating north and the cross indicating east [long thought to be the direction to paradise] evolved around the time of Christopher Columbus. The Compass Rose on a map or navigational chart provides directional information. A Compass Rose can be found at many general aviation airports and is often a part of the airport’s ‘Airmarking’ program. An airport Compass Rose is used to calibrate the aircraft magnetic compass. It is also a unique airfield identifier. The NAAREF Compaass Rose Series is designed to help people identify their needs and goals and then navigate agricultural aviation.