Author Topic: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette  (Read 13507 times)

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bookfrog

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Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« on: November 02, 2010, 10:54:58 PM »
Here in Canada we have a holiday called Remembrance Day.  For a week or so before November 11, people buy and wear poppy pins (like this: http://www.ismckenzie.com/images/poppy.jpg )and wear them, typically on their lapels.   The money goes to veterans' organization.  Then, on Nov. 11, there is a memorial service and a moment of silence.

I always buy multiple poppies per season (who can resist buying such gorgeous things when it's for a good cause?), but I can't really wear them. My fall outerwear is leather, and you don't stick a pin in leather.  Some people also wear the flowers on scarves, hats, or their inside clothes, but I am afraid to do that because the pin is quite long and straight and I am afraid I'll stab myself in the eye or injure someone else (I know this sounds irrational, but I'm an extreme klutz).

Would it be OK to remove the pins (the actual flower is just two pieces of felt with a hole in the middle of each piece, and the pin goes through the holes) and sew the poppies onto a headband? If so, would it be OK to wear said headband outside the Remembrance period?

Rohanna

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2010, 11:01:16 PM »
I don't know why, but I think wearing it on a headband would strike me as "off"... maybe because it wouldn't make it seem like the wearer just thought it was a pretty accessory?

How about replacing the straight pin with a safety pin like I do? Would that give you more options?
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katycoo

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2010, 11:06:00 PM »
Yeah, its odd but I don't think I'd wear it on a headband.  Replacing the pin with a safety pin would be fine though.

Animala

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2010, 11:08:59 PM »
I wouldn't wear it as a headband either.  I do think you can change the pin or even perhaps attach it to a clip you could put on your clothing.

jimithing

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2010, 11:22:26 PM »
I'm going to go against the grain and say I don't see anything wrong with it. I think it's still showing your support and appreciation for Veterans.

klm75

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2010, 12:06:23 AM »
I once saw a General's wife wear one on her hat.  I take out the straight pin and use a Canada flag pin in the centre.  The poppies are a fund raiser and used to remember our fallen soldiers, I don't believe that wearing them as a head band denies either purpose, though, I might just stick to one.

sparksals

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2010, 12:06:29 AM »
As a Canadian, while I see your thought is well intentioned,  per poppy protocol, is worn on the left lapel close to the heart. 
Wearing it on a headband or a hat outside the Remembrance period is disrespectful and as someone else stated, would be more like an accessory or decoration. 

Given the poppy is plastic and felt, I don't think it would hold up in a sewn fashion anyway and taking it apart would be considered defacing it (see below).  The poppy is to commemorate a very important part of our history, and as such, wearing all year takes away from and minimizes the purpose of Remembrance Day.  I can't say I have ever seen anyone wear a poppy after Nov. 11. 

Jimithing - Remembrance Day in Canada is to remember Canadian War Dead, like Memorial Day in the US.  It is not like Veteran's Day.  Departing from the traditional Poppy placement would be seen as extremely disrespectful, especially wearing it as an accessory.

Here is Poppy Protocol per the Canadian Legion:

There are few things the Legion wants Canadians to keep in mind:

    * The poppy should be worn as close to the heart as possible or on the left lapel of the outermost garment.
    * The poppy should only be worn during the Remembrance period, starting the on last Friday of October and ending at midnight on Nov. 11, or at other veteran-related special events.
    * The poppy should never be defaced in any way including replacing its pin.
    * An old poppy should never be reused. Appropriate disposal of the poppy is left to the discretion of each individual.
    * Any poppies found lying on the ground would be best placed lying at the foot of a war monument or in a local cemetery.

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 Gu�rin of France who sold the handmade poppies to raise money for poor children. Gu�rin later convinced friends in Canada to adopt the symbol as well.

jimithing

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2010, 12:08:40 AM »
As a Canadian, while I see your thought is well intentioned,  per poppy protocol, is worn on the left lapel close to the heart. 
Wearing it on a headband or a hat outside the Remembrance period is disrespectful and as someone else stated, would be more like an accessory or decoration. 

Given the poppy is plastic and felt, I don't think it would hold up in a sewn fashion anyway and taking it apart would be considered defacing it (see below).  The poppy is to commemorate a very important part of our history, and as such, wearing all year takes away from and minimizes the purpose of Remembrance Day.  I can't say I have ever seen anyone wear a poppy after Nov. 11. 

Jimithing - Remembrance Day in Canada is to remember Canadian War Dead, like Memorial Day in the US.  It is not like Veteran's Day.  Departing from the traditional Poppy placement would be seen as extremely disrespectful, especially wearing it as an accessory.

Here is Poppy Protocol per the Canadian Legion:

There are few things the Legion wants Canadians to keep in mind:

    * The poppy should be worn as close to the heart as possible or on the left lapel of the outermost garment.
    * The poppy should only be worn during the Remembrance period, starting the on last Friday of October and ending at midnight on Nov. 11, or at other veteran-related special events.
    * The poppy should never be defaced in any way including replacing its pin.
    * An old poppy should never be reused. Appropriate disposal of the poppy is left to the discretion of each individual.
    * Any poppies found lying on the ground would be best placed lying at the foot of a war monument or in a local cemetery.

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 Gu�rin of France who sold the handmade poppies to raise money for poor children. Gu�rin later convinced friends in Canada to adopt the symbol as well.

Thanks for the explanation! I had no idea.

I think that settles it. I wouldn't do it.

sparksals

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2010, 12:09:18 AM »
I once saw a General's wife wear one on her hat.  I take out the straight pin and use a Canada flag pin in the centre.  The poppies are a fund raiser and used to remember our fallen soldiers, I don't believe that wearing them as a head band denies either purpose, though, I might just stick to one.

I'm surprised by that.  Don Cherry got major flack when he replaced the center of the poppy:

The most pressing unanswered question when it comes to wearing poppies is how to keep them from falling off. Don Cherry thought he had a great idea on Saturday night when he appeared during his regular Hockey Night in Canada segment with a decorative, commemorative pin in place of the traditional black centre to his poppy. Too bad for Coach Grapes that replacing the centre of your poppy with a pin, no matter if the pin boasts a Nov. 11 theme, is just about the most serious breach of poppy protocol you can do.


Fluffy Cat

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2010, 12:15:06 AM »
It sounds a lot like U.S flag etiquette, so if you want to be on the polite side of things I would follow the poppy code.

Question from an American, the code listed talks about felt poppies?  Not the actual flower?  If its an actual flower I wouldn't necessarily follow the strict guidlines (specifically the timing ones), much as I might give a red rose to an obviously platonic friend as equally as a romantic interest despite the "official connotation".  If its more like a flag, or an emblem, thats different.

(I'm only comparing roses in that they have certain conventions, not because they bring up similar meanings and significance as the item in question).

Poppy flowers are purty  :)
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Amalthea

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2010, 12:20:55 AM »
Some people also wear the flowers on scarves, hats, or their inside clothes, but I am afraid to do that because the pin is quite long and straight and I am afraid I'll stab myself in the eye or injure someone else (I know this sounds irrational, but I'm an extreme klutz).

Totally not irrational.  I'm afraid of straight pins too.  ;)

As an American, I don't know anything about poppy etiquette, so I'd listen to sparksals.  But I do know some cute and easy crochet flower patterns if you want a pretty flower headband.

klm75

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2010, 12:22:33 AM »
I once saw a General's wife wear one on her hat.  I take out the straight pin and use a Canada flag pin in the centre.  The poppies are a fund raiser and used to remember our fallen soldiers, I don't believe that wearing them as a head band denies either purpose, though, I might just stick to one.

I'm surprised by that.  Don Cherry got major flack when he replaced the center of the poppy:

The most pressing unanswered question when it comes to wearing poppies is how to keep them from falling off. Don Cherry thought he had a great idea on Saturday night when he appeared during his regular Hockey Night in Canada segment with a decorative, commemorative pin in place of the traditional black centre to his poppy. Too bad for Coach Grapes that replacing the centre of your poppy with a pin, no matter if the pin boasts a Nov. 11 theme, is just about the most serious breach of poppy protocol you can do.


I often find many things are acceptable, as long as you are not on national television :)

sparksals

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2010, 12:25:27 AM »
It sounds a lot like U.S flag etiquette, so if you want to be on the polite side of things I would follow the poppy code.

Question from an American, the code listed talks about felt poppies?  Not the actual flower?  If its an actual flower I wouldn't necessarily follow the strict guidlines (specifically the timing ones), much as I might give a red rose to an obviously platonic friend as equally as a romantic interest despite the "official connotation".  If its more like a flag, or an emblem, thats different.

(I'm only comparing roses in that they have certain conventions, not because they bring up similar meanings and significance as the item in question).

Poppy flowers are purty  :)

They are not real floral poppies.  They are plastic on the back, felt on the front with a hole in the centre for the pin.  On top of the poppy is the black centre of the flower. 

I think you make a very good comparison - it is more of an emblem, deep rooted tradition to remember and respect war dead.  I would think equal to flag etiquette and protocol.

sparksals

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2010, 12:27:04 AM »
Some people also wear the flowers on scarves, hats, or their inside clothes, but I am afraid to do that because the pin is quite long and straight and I am afraid I'll stab myself in the eye or injure someone else (I know this sounds irrational, but I'm an extreme klutz).

Totally not irrational.  I'm afraid of straight pins too.  ;)

As an American, I don't know anything about poppy etiquette, so I'd listen to sparksals.  But I do know some cute and easy crochet flower patterns if you want a pretty flower headband.

That would be cute and totally within the realm of etiquette.  I have a nice embroidered table cloth with poppies which I use year round.  I have pillow covers with poppies on them and I have a poppy magnet on my fridge.  All perfectly acceptable. However, the worn poppy itself has a strict protocol.

bookfrog

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Re: Memorial Poppy Pin Etiquette
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2010, 12:51:40 AM »
Thank you everyone for your responses, especially Sparksals.  I'll try taping the whole poppy, pin and all, to my coat.  If that doesn't hold, well...the vets' organization will still have my financial contribution, and I'll be dang grateful not to be a TV personality :).

Amalthea: thank you. I wish I could crochet. :-[