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White Poppy piggybacking on the Red Poppy

The ‘White Poppy President’

By —— Bio and Archives--November 10, 2013

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The same president, who barely two months ago tried to keep 80-plus-year-old war veterans from visiting their open-air Washington war memorials, will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Veteran’s Day this Monday.

The same president, who is gutting the U.S. military, will host a breakfast to honor veterans and their families that is closed to the press. (White House Schedule)

For reasons above and more, President Barack Obama fully qualifies as ‘The White Poppy President’.

The White Poppy is the symbol of the ‘conscientious objector’.

Both here and overseas, the White Poppy is piggybacking the Red Poppy as an equal symbol for public display on Remembrance Day and Veterans Day.  The pacifist and bedraggled White Poppy has much in common with politicians of the day who piggyback the internationally celebrated day to honour the world’s war dead with the same empty words and photo-ops.

Around since 1926, the White Poppy has never, in any way that can be called significant, come down off the shelf. (Canada Free Press, November, 2006)

“In 1926, a few years after the introduction of the Red Poppy in the UK, the idea of pacifists making their own poppies was put forward by a member of the No More War Movement (and that the traditional black centre of the British Legion’s red poppies should be imprinted with the words “No More War”). (Wikipedia).  “Nothing seems to have come of this, until in 1933 the Women’s Co-operative Guild introduced the White Poppy; their intention was to remember the war dead (as with the red poppy), but with the added meaning of a hope for the end of all wars.

“The White Poppy was at first produced by the Co-operative Wholesale Society, because the British Legion refused to be associated with its manufacture.  In 1934, the recently formed Peace Pledge Union joined the CWS in production of the poppies, and eventually took over production and distribution altogether.  The annual White Poppy Appeal is still run by the PPU.”

In Canada, the White Poppy is brought to you courtesy of Canada Tides Foundation funding.

Canada’s White Poppy-pushing Rideau Institute doesn’t qualify for charitable status because it is not involved in charitable activities.  “They are all about political activism and political activism doesn’t get you a charitable number.” (Brian Lilley, Sun Media, Nov. 7, 2013)

“So what do they do?  Well, if you click on the donate button at the Rideau Institute’s website, it takes you to the website of the Tides Canada Foundation.  Tides is a far-left clearing house that supports all kinds of progressive causes.”

In Britain, Peace Pledge Union was awarded a 95,800 grant for a project to honour conscientious objectors.  It follows a Heritage Lottery fund’s refusal to fund a 92,200 Royal British Legion scheme to help children seed millions of poppies. (Daily Mail, Nov. 9, 2013).

The White Poppy project of the Peace Pledge Union is intended to honour the 16,000 conscientious objectors who refused to bear arms during the First World War.  Many were jailed for their beliefs.

In the burgeoning battle which raises its head every Remembrance/Veterans Day, no one describes the White Poppy more aptly than Rod Stewart, a vice-president of the Legions’s Alberta-Northwest Territories Command.

Stewart said the white poppies “piggyback” an inappropriate political message onto Remembrance Day. He said a more appropriate day might be September 21, the (United Nations) International Day of Peace, and suggested the groups involved sell olive branches instead of poppies.

In 2006, the Legion issued a statement condemning the White Poppy campaign. “This practice is not only disturbing, but illegal,” the press release stated.

The poppy, in any form other than a real poppy, is a registered symbol of the Legion and can’t be used without permission, Stewart said.  He added that the Legion would ask groups selling white poppies to stop.  Legal action has been used in the past to enforce trademark infringement.

Meanwhile, the bloodless White Poppy has been dying a slow death from anemia since its none-too-noble birth, and is not likely to replace the ones that grow in Flanders Field anytime soon.

Judi McLeod -- Bio and Archives | Comments

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh,, Drudge Report,

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