a. What does the
The Poppy is the international symbol of Remembrance.
b. Why should I wear a Poppy?
When you wear a Poppy or display a wreath, you honour the war dead
and help Veterans and their families.
c. Who should wear a Poppy?
Everyone should be encouraged to wear a Poppy as it is a way for all
Canadians to honour the memory of the thousands of Canadians who
gave their lives in the defence of freedom. This freedom, however,
also means having the right to choose and it is a person’s right not
to wear a Poppy if they choose.
d. When is a Poppy worn?
Traditionally, the Poppy is worn during the Remembrance period,
which is from the last Friday in October to the end of the day on 11
November. Poppies may also be worn at other commemorative events
throughout the year, such as the Battle of the Atlantic, the Battle
of Britain, a memorial service at a Legion Convention and other
similar occasions. The Poppy may also be worn by Colour Parties when
on parade and by members attending funeral services for Veterans or
e. How is the Poppy worn?
The Poppy should be worn with respect on the left breast, close to
the heart. When wearing standard Legion dress, the lapel Poppy is
worn on the left lapel immediately above the Legion lapel badge.
When wearing summer dress, the lapel Poppy is worn on the shirt,
immediately above and centred on the shirt crest. In inclement
weather, the lapel Poppy is worn on the left side of the outer
f. Can I attach the Poppy to clothing with another type of pin?
There have been many queries related to the wearing of the lapel
Poppy, specifically as it relates to using a pin or other such
fastening device in the center of the Poppy. It is the position of
the Legion that the Poppy is the sacred symbol of Remembrance and
should not be defaced in any way. No other pin, therefore, should be
used to attach it to clothing.
g. Are other types of Poppies available?
The Legion currently has a metal lapel Poppy pin with the words “We
Remember” in a bottom banner. A Poppy sticker suitable for wear on
clothing is also available.
h. When should a Poppy be removed?
The lapel Poppy may be worn throughout the whole of the Remembrance
period and is removed immediately following the end of Remembrance
Day, except in cases as described in Subsection 710.d. of this
manual and the General By-Laws. Many people place their Poppy at the
base of the Cenotaph in respect at the end of the Remembrance Day
Ceremony. This is also fully acceptable.
i. Is the Poppy centre green or black?
The centre of the Lapel Poppy was originally black but was changed
to green in 1980. In 2002, the centre was changed back to black to
reflect the colours of the Poppies in Flanders – a red flower with a
black centre. It is intended that the black centre will remain as
the standard for the production of all future Poppy material.
j. The Poppy Banner The Poppy Banner may be flown during the
Little known facts
- Until 1996, poppies were handmade by
veterans in Vetcraft workshops in Montreal and Toronto.
The work provided a small source of income for disabled
- While the traditional lapel poppy is
the most popular, car models, large table varieties and
metal pins are also available at most Legion branches.
- The centre of the poppy was
originally black but was changed to green more than
twenty years ago to represent the green fields of
France. In 2002, it was changed back to black to reflect
the actual colours of the poppies that grew in Flanders,
- The poppy is an international "symbol
of collective reminiscence."
- Poppies have been associated with
those killed in combat since the Napoleonic Wars of the
19th century, more than 110 years before being adopted
- Prior to the First World War, few
poppies grew in Flanders. Trench warfare enriched the
soil with lime from rubble, allowing "popaver rhoes" to
thrive. When the war ended, the lime was quickly
absorbed and poppies began to disappear again.
- In 1915, Guelph, Ont. native John
McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Forces
Artillery, wrote about the poppy explosion in his famous
poem In Flanders Fields.
- An American woman inspired by
McCrae's poem wore the flower year round and exported
the idea to Madame Guérin of France who sold the
handmade poppies to raise money for poor children.
Guérin later convinced friends in Canada to adopt the
symbol as well.
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