Remembrance Day is here and across the country many people will be wearing the traditional red poppy on their coat or jacket. This is the poppy which we have come to know as a symbol of remembrance, as it was the colour of the poppy that grew in Flanders Fields during the First World War.
Yet these are not the only coloured poppies you might see people wearing during this period of November. Other colour poppies have come to represent groups of people and animals who have been affected by war.
One of the most common other colours of poppy you might come across is the purple poppy. Launched in 2016, the purple poppy commemorates all animals who have died in conflicts over the years and also pays tribute to those currently serving in the armed forces.
The purple poppy has grown each year since its launch. In 2021, over £30,000 was raised through the purple poppy campaign. This money goes towards supporting animals who serve or have served in the armed forces.
The black poppy was launched in 2010 to be a symbol that represents the contributions made by the African/Black/West Indian/Caribbean/Pacific Islands & Indigenous communities to various wars since the 16th century. The mission statement of the Black Poppy Rose group is that they were established “with the aim of enlightening people of ALL nations, of the African/Black/West Indian/Caribbean/Pacific Islands & Indigenous communities contribution to history.”
The white poppy has been worn by people in the UK for over 90 years. It pays tribute to all lives lost in war, including all nationalities and both the civilian and military population. The white poppy campaign also challenges any attempt to glorify or celebrate war.
The campaign also promotes peace around the world. A section on its website reads: “[We have] a commitment to peace and to seeking nonviolent solutions to conflict. By drawing attention to the devastating human cost of war, white poppies highlight the urgency of our ongoing struggle for peace.”