THE Remembrance Day poppy is worn by millions of people across the Commonwealth to commemorate those to have perished in war.
Traditionally the poppies worn are red, but some choose to sport the pertinent symbol in white. Here we explain why.
How is the white poppy different from the red poppy?
Unlike the red poppy – which is often described as a symbol of hope and remembrance – the white poppy is worn as a commitment to peace.
The Peace Pledge Union's says the poppies differs from the Royal British Legion's as it is for the remembrance of all casualties of war.
This includes civilian, non-British and victims of wars that are still being fought.
The organisation believe in finding non violent solution to conflicts and use the white poppy to challenge the glamorisation and celebration of war.
Some choose to wear both poppies.
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Why is the white poppy controversial?
In the past, the Royal British Legion has expressed no official opinion about the White Poppy, saying "it is a matter of choice."
However, some people have argued that there is no need for a different poppy as the traditional one encompasses all the same messages.
In the 1930s, when the poppy was created by the Women’s Co-operative Guild, some worried it would take funds away from the red poppy appeal.
Magaret Thatcher famously expressed "deep distaste" for the symbol during prime ministers questions.
This lead to a huge amount of media interest, with the Daily Star running articles criticising the campaign.
In 2017, Afghanistan veteran Colonel Richard Kemp claimed that the poppies were a “left-wing political symbol” and an “insult to the war dead," arguing that the alternative campaign prevents charity funds going to the Legion.
And a year later Johnny Mercer, MP, blasted white poppies as "attention seeking rubbish".
He wrote on Twitter: "Ignore the wearers of them. If you don't want to wear a poppy don't bother; they fought and died so you could choose.
"But don't deliberately try and hijack it's symbolism for your own ends."
In 2021, St John’s Ambulance has changed its dress code policy to allow volunteers to wear the white poppy as an alternative to the red one.
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