Monday, 3 November 2008

Wear your poppy with pride - but not too early

Is it just me, or are Remembrance Day poppies appearing earlier every year? We're still a week away from the actual day, but politicians and newsreaders have been sporting poppies in their lapels since mid-October. In fact, there seems to be a kind of more-patriotic-than-thou competition among public figures, to see who can be first with their display of nationalistic pride.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not knocking the Poppy Appeal itself. Quite the opposite. Despite a brief youthful dalliance with the white poppy crowd, I'm a firm believer in this expression of remembrance for those who served their country in the past, and gratitude to those who are still doing so, particularly in the frontline of the difficult fight against Islamist terror in Afghanistan. It's just that I think extending the period when poppies are worn runs the risk of cheapening the occasion, rather like (if you'll forgive the trivial comparison) those Comic Relief red noses you used to see on cars months after the event.

So let's reclaim this important national ritual from the look-at-how-serious-and-patriotic-I-am brigade and resolve, while donating generously to the appeal, to wear our poppies only in the few days leading up to Remembrance Sunday, thus preserving its sombre uniqueness.


Anonymous said...

I wear my poppy with pride too, and deep deep gratitude.

Anonymous said...

I've come very late to this post, but I want to register the strongest agreement with both Martin and Fleshisgrass. I'm alive and free because some of these soldiers died - I don't forget that.

Unknown said...


For relatives we may have never known or cannot know no, more: Loved ones lost in conflict, perishing in war.


When we buy a poppy, approaching Remembrance Day
There’s a method we should sport it - in a special way
Don’t show it off too early - as politicians do
Or have it on your right side - that is quite wrong too

Place it on your left side so others will not mock
Make sure the leaf that’s with it - is eleven of the clock
I reckon it’s noteworthy to pin it on correct.
When donning this fine emblem, expressing your respect.

Of course it’s not compulsory but that`s the way I see
One reason why you`re wearing it - is because we`re free!

Joe Earl.

For all who have and are still fighting that we may be safe and free, the survivors and the injured and caring family: “We must remember them” KG.

For their sake - wear a poppy, if you wear a poppy, wear it with pride. It is also simply asked that you wear a poppy to support the people that are currently undertaking the defence of our right to wear it, wherever they may be in world.