Different Countries, Different Poppies

I noticed that British Prime Minister Tony Blair was wearing a poppy during his interview on Meet The Press this morning.

Except his poppy didn’t look like a normal Canadian Remembrance Day poppy, it was longer, and had a bushy green extension.

I dug into the issue and found that, indeed, the Canadian and British artificial poppies used on November 11 are different. Here’s a side-by-side comparison, Canadian on the left and British on the right:

Canada PoppyCanada Poppy

The Royal Canadian Legion and the Royal British Legion have considerable information about their respective poppy appeals, but, as far as I can tell, no information about the design of their respective poppies. There is, however, a Canadian law suit on their design.

In New Zealand, they use a modified British design. And I just can’t understand the American design.

Comments

Wayne's picture
Wayne on November 15, 2004 - 00:32

For readers benefit, Rememberence Day is celebrated in Great Britain on the first Sunday after November the 11th, in memory of those who lost their lives in the First World War. Thus, their poppies can and have been seen in public after the 11th, the day which in Canada, poppies are to be no longer worn. This tradition in Great Britain has continued to the present day, while adding rememberence to those lost in subsequent wars and conflicts.

Ken's picture
Ken on November 15, 2004 - 14:23

There is an irony in wearing the poppy while fighting a war in Afghanistan. Flower power.

Wayne's picture
Wayne on November 16, 2004 - 20:56

Response to my inquiry from Steven Heiter — Secretary
Ritual & Awards Committee
Royal Canadian Legion

There are several designs for the Poppy from various countries around the world. Each has its own unique qualities. The Canadian design has evolved over the years from the first hand made paper flowers in the early years to the design we have today. Any record of the changes in the design were lost to the Legion when the responsibility for making then was relinquished by the old Vetcraft organization in the late 1980’s. Their design was a flat, slightly embossed and flocked heavy paper design with a black center. When the current supplier took up the challenge, the center of the Poppy changed to green, and the current sculpted and flocked plastic material came into use. Two years ago the center was changed back to the traditional black. Any reference as to why our Poppy differs from the UK design has been lost to us, and any reason offered would be pure speculation. The Canadian design has likely been some variation of the 4 petal shape currently in use for a number of decades.”

may hamill's picture
may hamill on November 4, 2005 - 21:12

I am originally from Scotland and lived in Toronto for 27 years. At present I am living in Virginia USA and have not been able to get a poppy for rememberance day in Washington DC where I work. If someone knows where I can purchase one I would be very grateful for the info Thanks May

norman whiteside's picture
norman whiteside on November 2, 2009 - 23:40

How/where can I purchase/obtain the Poppy design of the Royal British Legion?

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