Poppies for Remembrance

Most people think there is only one poppy to be worn for remembrance, but, in reality, there are four Remembrance Poppies which can be worn: Red, White, Purple and Black.

The Red Poppy

The Flanders poppy has long been a part of Remembrance Day, the ritual that marks the Armistice of 11 November 1918, and is also increasingly being used as part of Anzac Day observances. During the First World War, red poppies were among the first plants to spring up in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium. In soldiers' folklore, the vivid red of the poppy came from the blood of their comrades soaking the ground.

The White Poppy

The white poppy is an international symbol of remembrance for all the casualties of war - civilians and armed forces personnel - and of peace. Some people see it as an alternative to the red poppy, others see it as complementary; some choose to wear both poppies, some one or the other, and some no poppy at all.

The Purple Poppy

The purple poppy remembers animal victims of war and human violence. Animals cannot volunteer and have no choice in becoming involved in war when they serve alongside human military personnel. Like humans, animals living in war zones suffer from the effects of war – injury, stress, lack of food and water.

The Black Poppy

The black poppy is a symbol that commemorates all those who have died, and are still dying, due to war and its legacy. It remembers dead soldiers, dead civilians, dead conscientious objectors. It remembers those who have fallen victim to invasion, occupation, gender-based violence, starvation and poverty.

The Poppy

I am not a badge of honour,
I am not a racist smear,
I am not a fashion statement,
To be worn but once a year,

I am not glorification
Of conflict or of war.
I am not a paper ornament a token,
I am more.

I am a loving memory,
Of a father or a son,
A permanent reminder
Of each and every one.

I'm paper or enamel
I’m old or shining new,
I’m a way of saying thank you,
To every one of you.

I am a simple poppy
A Reminder to you all,
That courage, faith and honour,
Will stand where heroes fall...

 (Paul Hunter)