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Home » Remembrance Day: Why Do We Wear Poppies And What They Mark

Remembrance Day: Why Do We Wear Poppies And What They Mark

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November commemorates the month we remember all those who have lost their lives to conflicts across the world throughout history.

As a sign to show we are thinking of all those lost to conflicts, many people wear a small red poppy.

The poppies are sold as part of the Poppy Appeal that raises money for the Royal British Legion, an organisation that helps those impacted by conflicts and all the servicemen and women who are still alive today and whose lives were changed by wars they thought in.

Why do we wear poppies? The notion of wearing a poppy originates back to World War One when the flower grew on the battlefields soldiers lost their lives.

But the poppy wasn’t made a popular way to remember the brave until the famous World War One poem ‘In Flanders Fields was written by John McCrae.

Since then, the poppy has become a symbol of remembering everyone who gave their lives to wars, but also to those who have died on behalf of their country.

The field were soldiers lost their lives grew poppies. (PA)

When do you wear a poppy? If you choose to wear a poppy to remember those lost to conflicts and wars, the British Legion asks you to do it through the Remembrance period.

Starting on the last Friday of October until November 11.

However, the Legion does encourage to wear them at funerals of Veterans and commemorative events such as memorial services.

What do the different coloured poppies mean? Although red is the most commonly worn remembrance poppy, there is a choice of colours that all represent a different meaning.

Purple Poppy The purple poppy is worn to remember all the animals that have been a victim of war.

Such as the horses, dogs, and pigeons used during the war effort, in particular for World War One.

Donations to the Purple Poppy Appeal, organised by the War House Memorial all go towards charities like World Horse Welfare and the animal charity Blue Cross.

The Royal British Legion’s 2023 #PoppyAppeal launches today with our new plastic-free poppy ♻️

Made entirely from paper, the plastic-free poppy is available alongside stock of the existing poppy to reduce waste. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/COSDK0se4l

— Royal British Legion (@PoppyLegion) October 26, 2023 Black Poppy

The black poppy commemorates the black, African, and Caribbean communities’ contributions to the war effort, as service people and civilians.

It was launched back in 2010 by Selena Carty who says it’s “A symbol that signifies pride, honour and glory, with the hope that future generations will be inspired by these largely untold historical legacies”.

White Poppy The white poppy remembers those who died in conflict towards the end of a war.

Some people choose to wear the white poppy as they feel the red poppy glorifies conflict and wars.

The poppy is handed out by the Charity Peace Pledge Union which wants to promote peace and change the way the world looks at war.