The white poppy raises its annual slow news day head. Personally I think this is self-righteousness gone loopy. Yes, of course peace is a Good Thing. But remembrance is a day to pay homage to those people who, for better or worse, have been killed in war in our names. Wear your white poppy on World Peace Day – don’t hijack somebody else’s day.

The real issue regarding red poppies as far as I’m concerned is how come they’re still so, well, primitive. Since I was a child, the plastic poppy has undergone two innovations: firstly they’ve added a little clip to make it slightly harder for the thing to slip off, and secondly they’ve added a green paper leaf. Fundamentally, the things still fall off at the drop of the hat thanks to the totally impractical pin you attach to your clothing and are only really practical for certain modes of dress (e.g. jeans. a hoodie and a tshirt)

At the very least, why can’t poppy sellers offer safety pins? Even better, couldn’t they also sell badges?

I’m not asking for the British Legion to turn remembrance Sunday into the equivalent of Red Nose Day, but one or two sops to modernity would probably help them immensely.


  1. I meant to add that. In fact, the only place I’ve seen them being sold is at Westminster. Great for ensuring that MPs all have them, pretty useless for everyone else.

  2. Anyone can request a box of poppies and a collecting ‘tin’ to, say, put in the kitchen at work (as we do), or failing that, mainline railway stations at rush hour are often a good bet 🙂

  3. I’ve had no problem finding them.

    I assumed they were deliberately flimsy so that people have to buy new ones each year rather than bringing out last year’s. (It being a major fund-raiser as well as for making thepoint.)

    Personally I don’t like wearing a poppy at all. To me it is a bit too showy for something so serious. I just give a donation instead.

  4. I have no problem finding them, the local sainsbury’s has a large stall, so do most large stations as well as many smaller ones (the one at my parents has a veteran who sells them every morning to commuters).

    My one for this year has already fallen off… may be at home somewhere…

    My brother has several years worth on his coat (in varying states of repair), he believes we shouldn’t remember the fallen once a year and then forget…

  5. I agree with James that poppies would be easier if the had fixed pins like badges but they would have to change the way they are made.

    At the moment I think they are made by volunteers and by convicts sentenced to cimmunity service. I had a client who had been given a special badge for assembling 4000 poppies in three hours or something along those lines.

    They are cheaper that the Well Behaved Orphans in Rutland.

  6. Last year I happened to be in Brisbane around the time of Rememberance Day, which I was surprised to see commemorated (I’d assumed ANZAC Day was the equivalent). The Australians use a more substantial cloth poppy with a safety-pin, which is sold at a fixed price of AUS$2 IIRC. I was able to affix one to my son’s t-shirt (him being only 2 years old) as well as my own. They aren’t as prevalent amongst the population as the UK ones though.

  7. I agree with your comments. I’ve made similar comments on my own blog too (I stress, before I read yours).

    The white poppy brigade always want there to be a message, where as the red poppy is really about remembrance and how we must also remember those who still suffer because of their serving their country. Ex servicemen still need support and the BritishLegion do this, and in many cases they do it far better than the government does !

  8. I’ve been looking for a Red Poppy blog buttonn with no luck.

    I don’t go for the white ones – partly because they fund the PPU organisation not services for veterans.

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