Advanced search ask what you think of white poppies (Remembrance-related)?

(572 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

PlumpingUpPartridge Mon 03-Nov-14 15:35:54

I had been dimly aware of the existence of white poppies but hadn't really given them much thought until DH mentioned them this weekend. I checked out the website and saw this:


I liked this quote:

"In 1933 the first white poppies appeared on Armistice Day (called Remembrance Day after World War Two). The white poppy was not intended as an insult to those who died in the First World War - a war in which many of the white poppy supporters lost husbands, brothers, sons and lovers - but a challenge to the continuing drive to war. The following year the newly founded Peace Pledge Union began widespread distribution of the poppies and their annual promotion."

I am very happy to express my admiration and respect for those who died in wars, but I don't particularly want to see any more wars. I don't know what the alternative is, but I'd like to see more effort go into finding it.

I've been sifting through the threads and noticed some anti-white poppy feeling (along the lines of 'it's disrespectful'). I didn't grow up here so don't have childhood experience to guide me on this. Please can you tell me what you think of it and, if you think it's disrespectful, why?

I'm not a journalist by the way, just curious and trying to be impartial <dons research scientist hat> grin

LaurieFairyCake Mon 03-Nov-14 15:39:14

I wear both. I remember the dead, support the troops wholeheartedly, and wish and pray for peace.

Sunna Mon 03-Nov-14 15:43:47

I've always worn one - as I said on another thread. All my family do.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Mon 03-Nov-14 15:44:35

"To challenge the continuing drive to war" - that's interesting, because in the 1930s the government was doing all it could to avoid going to war again wasn't it? From what I remember of history lessons the country hadn't recovered from WW1 and the depression, which is why Hitler was ignored for so long.

So were they challenging the drive to war from those who didn't agree with the Government's stance and wanted us to oppose Germany and Hitler?

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Mon 03-Nov-14 15:48:17

I was going to start wearing one but then the person I was got one from went on and on about being anti army, anti defence and how they were not paying that'portion' of their taxes. I got a white poppy but as I don't agree with that form of protest (not paying taxes) I haven't work one.

PlumpingUpPartridge Mon 03-Nov-14 15:48:36

Oh, where's the other thread sunna? I must have missed it - I searched for white poppy rather than poppy alone.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Mon 03-Nov-14 15:49:22

^ worn, not work.

Username12345 Mon 03-Nov-14 15:51:01

Is it that time again?

I haven't worn any kind of poppy since they were forced on us at school.

Sunna Mon 03-Nov-14 15:52:40

link -

2rebecca Mon 03-Nov-14 15:56:00

I'd wear one if I saw one for sale, probably, if I didn't then have to explain why white not red to every other person I saw

Greydog Mon 03-Nov-14 15:57:08

I wear a red poppy and a purple poppy. I find the idea of wearing the white poppy as a symbol of peace a good idea. It's interesting that Mrs Thatcher hated the white poppies

PlumpingUpPartridge Mon 03-Nov-14 15:58:19

Thanks sunna.

I have a knitted red poppy on my lapel (also donate a few quid to poppy sellers when I see them) but have replaced one of the red petals for a white one so as to have a blended flower. My white knitted poppy looked slightly too much like an eye hmm

TeenAndTween Mon 03-Nov-14 16:06:16

Personally, I think most people think going to war should be a last resort.

(In as much as I doubt you get many people who would say 'of course we should go to war even though there are other realistic viable options we haven't tried')

Therefore, I view people wearing white poppies as being a bit smug. As if they think that their dislike of war is somehow stronger than all the normal red-poppy-wearers. (Whereas I suspect it isn't, just the white poppy wearers are a bit more idealistic / less realistic than everyone else).

DidoTheDodo Mon 03-Nov-14 16:08:17

I was once spat at for wearing a white poppy.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 03-Nov-14 16:08:45

I hope you revisit that thought Teen as I know 3 white/red poppy wearers that are forces personnel and wear them because their relatives had shell shock and were either imprisoned or shot as deserters.

DidoTheDodo Mon 03-Nov-14 16:11:24

Sorry posted too soon.

I want to be able to remember the dead of wars, especially conscripts who had little choice in fighting.

The red poppy, although a powerful symbol of remembrance is also, in some respects, just another charity "badge" and I don't like the feeling of being obliged to wear one and hence contribute to a charity fund I might not wholeheartedly agree with.

I'd like to see a symbol of remembrance that commemorates the fallen without it also being attached to a charity appeal.

TeenAndTween Mon 03-Nov-14 16:14:11

Laurie People being shot as deserters when actually they had shell shock was clearly wrong. But that isn't what the white poppy is generally recognised to be for is it? (To say that ill people shouldn't be classed as deserters/cowards.) I don't need to see a white poppy to know / think that.

The OP asked what I think of white poppies. I answered.

NeoFaust Mon 03-Nov-14 16:17:36

My brother is in the forces.

To wear a white poppy would be to suggest that I see his role, and the sacrifices that have come with it (and are potentially still to come) as somehow unworthy or unnecessary.

It would demean the choices and effort that he has made, as well as every man who put on uniform between now and Agincourt. It would diminish both his choice and theirs by implying that they were somehow without agency in the bravery they showed and the pain that they felled. It reduces them to the level of dumb cattle mutilated by the stupidity of others or the callousness of social forces. I could never be so disrespectful to the dead, let alone my brother.

My brother wouldn't actually care, mind you. His genuine desire to protect our society and it's values means that he welcomes the existence of such contentious debates and genuine ideological passions. I can understand his position, but for myself I cannot do otherwise than wear a red poppy.

And I did a degree in War Studies, so I know that only the dead have seen the end of war and the rest of us can only prepare for it's inevitability.

SilentAllTheseYears Mon 03-Nov-14 16:17:41

I wouldn't get a white poppy because I think that would be making a political statement and that's not what the poppy appeal is about.

DeWee Mon 03-Nov-14 16:25:22

I agree with TeenandTween. The idea of the Red Poppy is "lest we forget"... not just that we forget the sacrifice these young men made for us, but also "lest we forget" how dreadful war is and how we don't want war again. I don't think the white poppy says it any better.

Peace at any price? Could anyone really say that? Surely there are times when it is necessary to stand up and say "No!" "Peace for our time" didn't work because Hitler just kept pushing. Does anyone really think if we'd renegotiated he'd have stopped? Great Britain would have come onto the agenda at some point and then we'd have either had to give in or be at war like it or not.

I'm anti-war, in fact I haven't met anyone who wouldn't say that, including people in the forces etc. However realistically there will be times when we as a country and as individuals have to stand up and say that is enough.

War is only glorious in little boys hero stories. My grandfather was a pilot in the Battle of Britain. He had some wonderful stories and the comradery and friendship that still existed in the 1990s between those they had shared battle with was extraordinary.
But he didn't talk about the times when he watched his friends burnt to death in their planes, the ones who came back with horrific injuries etc. because as he said "some things are too dreadful to be able to bring understanding to people with mere words". To him the poppy stood for those he'd known who had died, but also to remind the world that fighting was to be used as a last resort, and a last resort only.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 03-Nov-14 16:27:31

I have always worn both.

PlumpingUpPartridge Mon 03-Nov-14 16:29:15

That's what worries me, DeWee - I'm not sure fighting is always a last resort. Britain has a massive arms trade and I worry that it might influence our national and international policies.

'Dolce et decorum est pro patria mori' can only ever be true if you actually needed to go to war in the first place, if there was absolutely no other way (and often it isn't even true then).

It is interesting to hear all these opinions.

Sirzy Mon 03-Nov-14 16:29:54

I agree with silent. As much as hope and pray for peace Remembrance day to me isn't the time to start making some sort of point about that as that is not the point of the whole Remembrance period IMO

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 03-Nov-14 16:33:41

silent I think wearing a poppy of any colour is a political statement.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Mon 03-Nov-14 16:34:05

"I wouldn't get a white poppy because I think that "I wouldn't get a white poppy because I think that would be making a political statement and that's not what the poppy appeal is about."

"I agree with TeenandTween. The idea of the Red Poppy is "lest we forget"... not just that we forget the sacrifice these young men made for us, but also "lest we forget" how dreadful war is and how we don't want war again. I don't think the white poppy says it any better."

Agree with the above ^

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now