May 8, 2021

White is the new red in the case of poppies.
Haven’t you heard about it? White poppies are just the biggest thing in haute couture Remembrance Day wear.
Yeah? No.
Last year alone the Royal Canadian Legion sold $14-million worth of poppies to support various veterans’ services and over 18 million Canadians wore the pins, but this year a group of peace activists in Ottawa are trying to put an end to the glorification of war, by dishonouring the very symbol of Remembrance Day.
The whole idea of the white poppies actually originated in Britain back in the 1920s and now they have resurfaced, thanks to the Rideau Institute in Ottawa. The group’s leader argues that the red poppies are glorifying war and that the new white ones are symbols of peace.
So red poppies glorify war huh? Well, obviously someone fell asleep in their high school history classes.
The red poppies are a symbol of military sacrifice. They represent every man and woman who gave their lives so that we can live the way that we do and by wearing the red poppies we’re not only acknowledging this sacrifice but honouring it.
I am not entirely against the basic idea of the white poppies. Symbols of peace have been around a long time. I mean, take a look at the peace sign. I am, however, against them being used as an anti-poppy symbol. Supporting peace is fine but you should never do it by dishonouring those who lived and died so that you can have the right to even try this stupid idea.
The only thing truly offensive about the white poppy is that it is both copying the shape of the poppy as well as dishonouring the idea behind them.
Personally I am both a fan of peace and a fan of respecting the sacrifices of our veterans and to me the red poppy has always been very important.
Despite all of this the group continues to try and push their white poppies, even going so far as to place a wreath of them on a memorial statue.
Back in high school I took a drama class and my teacher told my class something that resonated with all of us.
“Every time you discard a poppy or step on it in the halls, you are stepping on the sacrifice of a soldier,” she told us.
To this day I cannot walk past a fallen poppy without picking it up and bringing it home with me to keep it safe. I guess that is why I see the white ones as so disrespectful. The organizers of the white poppies are trying to make us forget these people, whether they realize it or not.
If anything these white poppies are nothing but a black mark on Remembrance Day and I, for one, will stick to proudly wearing my red one.