Thursday 22 November 2012

Culture & World: What's That Flower Badge?

The Remembrance Poppy -- Lapel version

A week ago, a relative told me that while he was watching English football he saw everyone wearing this paper-like flower badge, so he asked me what that's for.

That brought up my childhood memory... back in the days I was studying primary school in London.

I remembered I had a few such badges when I was a kid, I don't think I knew what exactly they were for other than for charity, but the name kind of gives it away. It's called The Remembrance Poppy.

Wikipedia has the simplest and best descriptions,

Poppy Wreath
Image from

The remembrance poppy (a Papaver rhoeas) has been used since 1920 to commemorate soldiers who have died in war. Inspired by the World War I poem "In Flanders Fields", they were first used by the American Legion to commemorate American soldiers who died in that war (1914–1918). They were then adopted by military veterans' groups in the Commonwealth; especially the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Today, they are mainly used in the UK and Canada to commemorate their servicemen and women who have been killed since 1914. There, small artificial poppies are often worn on clothing on Remembrance Day/Armistice Day (11 November) and in the weeks before it. Poppy wreaths are also often laid at war memorials.

Field of Remembrance
Image from The Royal British Legion
The remembrance poppy is especially prominent in the UK in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday. They are sold by The Royal British Legion for its "Poppy Appeal" and it is seen as befitting for public figures to wear one, which some have berated as "poppy fascism". The poppy is especially controversial in Northern Ireland and most Irish nationalists refuse to wear one due to the actions of the British Army during The Troubles. There has also been controversy over their introduction to the world of sport.

Image from The Poppy Shop
There are in fact numerous shapes and forms of poppy for willing donors, and they come in different prices as well. If one doesn't want to buy, the poppy can be homemade easily. Red poppy is generally the main colour, but there is also the white poppy for the pacifist, meaning the anti-war peace-lovers,  and the purple poppy for the commemorate the animal victims.

And all these brings me back to one of BBC's most classy and successful sitcom Blackadder. In the season finale of Blackadder Goes Forth, our most beloved "Mr Bean" Rowan Atkinson and "Dr. Gregory House" Hugh Laurie took their last step in a 1917 set, on the Western Front in the trenches of World War I, and this is how the whole series ended...

Despite all the jokes and witty remarks, let's not forget that war is never good. I hope all wars will end and nobody shall suffer from wars ever after.

Let's teach our young children how horrible war is so that our future generations can enjoy happiness!


Christmas is coming, if you are thinking about a gift for yourself or a friend, you should read TV Drama: The Black Adder (for English lovers), and I have a good recommendation for you.

remembrance -- (n) formal [U] when you remember and show respect for someone who has died or a past event
commemorate --(vb)[T] to remember officially and give respect to a great person or event, especially by a public ceremony or by making a statue or special building
wreath -- (n) [C] an arrangement of flowers and leaves in a circular shape, which is used as a decoration or as a sign of respect and remembrance for a person who has died
prominent -- (adj) very well known and important
finale -- (n) [C usually singularthe last part of especially a musical or theatrical performance, which is often very exciting or emotional
witty -- (adj) using words in a clever and funny way

Field of Remembrance @ The Royal British Legion

Remembrance poppy @ Wikipedia

White Poppies @ Wikipedia

Good luck everybody - Blackadder - BBC @ YouTube

TV Drama: The Black Adder (for English lovers) @ Locky's English Playground