White poppies for peace

White Poppies for peace

The White Poppy symbolises the belief that there are better ways to resolve conflicts than killing strangers.

From www.ppu.org.uk/poppy

This morning, whilst discussing with my partner my reasons for wearing a poppy, i discovered that my opinions are better represented by the white poppy than the red poppy. I was, and still am, strongly against the war in Iraq, and in wearing a poppy i remember not just the British soldiers who have died but also all the innocent victims in Iraq whose lives have been torn apart by warfare.

The red poppy is associated with the British Legion, and is particularly for commemorating soldiers who have died. I believe that is important, and i recognise that war is sometimes necessary. But i believe the impact of war goes so much further than that.

The white poppy is for peaceful resolution of conflict, and is to remember the victims of warfare. I did not know about the white poppy before today, and it’s too late to get one for this year, but in the future i will wear both a red poppy and a white one. This week i’ll be wearing my white scarf to symbolise my desire for peace.

P.S. Here is a lovely picture of a Sea of White Poppies taken near Basingstoke a couple of years ago.


5 comments on “White poppies for peace

  1. I don’t wear a white poppy. I did it once, and I learned that it upsets people who are still grieving, on a day that is set aside for them. I don’t want to be That Guy.

  2. I can see how it would be upsetting to wear a white poppy instead of a red one. I’d like to wear one of each.

    Do you wear a red poppy, or do you not wear one at all?

  3. I wear a red one. I know people who’ve been personally helped by the Legion, so I have personal loyalties there, and I also strongly support their campaign for the Government to honour the Military Covenant, which I think it has shamefully failed to do (as did the Tory Government before it, mind you.)

    I don’t think people who are upset by the white poppy are less upset by seeing both together; at least in my great-aunt’s case, it was a pretty visceral reaction against the white poppy itself. I don’t think its symbolism is widely understood in the way you describe it; it tends to be seen as a statement of outright pacifism, which is naturally upsetting to people who think their relatives died in a good cause. The association with pacifism is on the PPU website, and at the moment they also have a statement on the site calling for the abolition of UN peacekeepers, which is exactly the opposite way to the way I want to see things going – I want a strong UN with its own permanent army. So I don’t see myself wearing a white poppy again any time soon. I have no problem with the PPU running whatever campaigns they want, of course, but I wish they would choose a different time of year for it when it might be less distressing to the bereaved.

  4. Mmm, okay, i’m grateful for your input. Thanks.

    I think i’ll stick to my white scarf which i bought in the run-up to the Iraq war, as a symbol of desire for peaceful resolution of conflict.

    I do get that war in the past has been necessary, and that we owe so much to those who fought and died for us. I buy a red poppy every year and will continue to do so.

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