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

b. 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.

c. 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.

d. 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.

e. 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.

f. 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.

g. 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.

h. 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, except in cases as described in Subsection 710.d. of this manual and the General By-Laws. 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.

i. 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.

j. The Poppy Banner The Poppy Banner may be flown during the Remembrance period.

Little known facts

  • Until 1996, poppies were handmade by veterans in Vetcraft workshops in Montreal and Toronto. The work provided a small source of income for disabled ex-service persons.
  • While the traditional lapel poppy is the most popular, car models, large table varieties and metal pins are also available at most Legion branches.
  • The centre of the poppy was originally black but was changed to green more than twenty years ago to represent the green fields of France. In 2002, it was changed back to black to reflect the actual colours of the poppies that grew in Flanders, Belgium.
  • The poppy is an international "symbol of collective reminiscence."
  • Poppies have been associated with those killed in combat since the Napoleonic Wars of the 19th century, more than 110 years before being adopted in Canada.
  • Prior to the First World War, few poppies grew in Flanders. Trench warfare enriched the soil with lime from rubble, allowing "popaver rhoes" to thrive. When the war ended, the lime was quickly absorbed and poppies began to disappear again.
  • In 1915, Guelph, Ont. native John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Forces Artillery, wrote about the poppy explosion in his famous poem In Flanders Fields.
  • An American woman inspired by McCrae's poem wore the flower year round and exported the idea to Madame Guérin of France who sold the handmade poppies to raise money for poor children. Guérin later convinced friends in Canada to adopt the symbol as well.

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