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Poppy Placement

posted Nov 2, 2016, 7:42 AM by Eric Clinton   [ updated Nov 12, 2017, 6:51 AM ]

Each November, Poppies blossom on the lapels and collars of almost half of Canada’s entire population. Since 1921, the Poppy has stood as a symbol of Remembrance, our visual pledge to never forget all those Canadians who have fallen in war and military operations. The Poppy also stands internationally as a “symbol of collective reminiscence”, as other countries have also adopted its image to honour those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

What does the Poppy represent?
The Poppy is the international symbol of Remembrance.

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.

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.

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 Ordinary members.

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 garment.

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. While this should be the practice of all Legionnaires, it is recognized that the Legion cannot control its form of wear by the public. It is undoubtedly better to wear a Poppy with a pin in the center than not to wear a Poppy at all. The best that we can do is to encourage Legionnaires to wear it properly.

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.

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... 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.

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.

[from The Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Manual Dec. 2014]

The Poppy symbol is a registered trademark of Dominion Command of The Royal Canadian Legion and is owned and controlled by Dominion Command. It cannot be used in any manner or configuration without the specific permission of Dominion Command.