Poppy Day: What other colours are poppies and what does a silver poppy mean?

Ahead of Remembrance Sunday, here are what all the different colours of poppy mean.

Remembrance Sunday falls on November 14th this year, coming just later this week.

The traditional common way to show support and respect for fallen soldiers is by wearing a red poppy.

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However, there are slight differences between poppies that mean they have different meanings and commemorate different themes or topics related to war and conflict.

Red poppies might be the most common colour for Remembrance Sunday poppies, but there are other colours with different meanings as well. Photo: Sterling750 / Getty Images / Canva Pro.

Here’s all the different types of poppies that you can wear for Remembrance Sunday and what they mean.

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What is the difference between a Scottish and an English poppy?

Scottish and English poppies are both red, the traditional colour, but there is still a slight difference between them.

Scottish poppies have four petals and no leaf, whereas the English one has just two petals and often has a green leaf as well.

Scottish poppies are also made in Edinburgh and the money goes towards the Scottish Poppy Appeal, to support Scottish veterans and their families.

What does a silver poppy mean?

Silver or white poppies are sold to raise funds for the charity Peace Pledge Union and represent “remembrance for all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a challenge to attempts to glamorise or celebrate war”.

They are often worn by pacifists to show respect towards those affected by war, while also promoting pacifism and challenging the way we look at war.

What does a purple poppy mean?

Another alternative poppy colour is purple, which represents remembrance for the animals that have been victims of war.

This often particularly focuses on the horses that were killed or injured during World War II, when it was estimated that eight million horses, donkeys, and mules were killed, amounting to three-quarters of the numbers that were originally sent out.

Aside from horses, dogs and pigeons were also often drafted for the war efforts throughout the 20th Century.

Donations to the Purple Poppy Appeal, organised by the War Horse Memorial, go to charities such as the World Horse Welfare.

What does the black poppy mean?

Finally, the black poppy is worn to commemorate Black, African, and Caribbean communities’ contributions to the war effort.

This represents respect for both fallen soldiers and civilians who have been affected by battles.


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