Remembrance poppy

The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower worn to commemorate those who died for their country. Veterans' associations exchange poppies for charitable donations used to give financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the armed forces.[2]

1921 British Remembrance Poppy. Cotton and silk poppies were made in devastated areas of France by the widows and orphans of Madame Guérin, "The Poppy Lady from France" and the originator of Poppy Day.[1]

The modern Remembrance Poppy has been trademarked by veterans' associations in many jurisdictions, particularly in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth nations, where donations fund the associations' services. Small remembrance poppies are often worn on clothing leading up to Remembrance Day/Armistice Day,[3] and poppy wreaths are often laid at war memorials. In Australia and New Zealand, they are also worn on Anzac Day.[4]

The "Originator of Poppy Day", Madame Guérin,[1] raised funds during World War I for widows, orphans, veterans, U.S. Liberty bonds, and charities such as the Red Cross and Food for France.

After the Armistice that ended World War I, the French government formed "La Ligue des Enfants de France et d’Amérique" (The Children's League of France and America), a charity which used a poppy as its emblem. Madame Guérin created the American branch of this charity, called the "American and French Children’s League". Many organizations adopted the poppy as their memorial flower after World War I ended, and in 1919, Madame Guérin established Poppy Days, under the auspices of her charity.

The Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal caused some controversy, with some—including British Army veterans—who argued that the symbol was being used excessively to marshal support for British military campaigns and that public figures were pressured to wear the poppies.[5]