We discussed the time-dependence of fluorescent emission anisotropy of a cylindrical probe in membrane vesicles. We showed that, if the motion of the probe were described as diffusion in an anisotropic environment, it would be possible to determine not only the second-rank but also the fourth-rank orientational order parameter from the decay of the fluorescence anisotropy. The approximations involved were based on an interpolation of short-time and long-time behavior of the relevant correlation functions. A general expression was derived for the time dependence of the fluorescence anisotropy in closed form, which applies to any particular distribution model. It was shown to be in good agreement with previously reported results for the cone model and the Gaussian model. Finally, the applicability of the theory to time-resolved and differential phase fluorescence depolarization experiments was discussed.