REGINA – Millions of poppies have already been distributed in Canada this year, but not everyone knows the some of the etiquette when wearing one. Here is a refresher:
You can wear a poppy wherever you like
Poppies are traditionally worn in front of the heart, but that’s not a requirement.
“Nobody is going to call you on where you are wearing your poppy,” said Cherilyn Cooke, provincial executive director of the Royal Canadian Legion Saskatchewan Command. “The fact that you choose to wear that poppy says a great deal about you, and it furthers our cause of remembrance and support of veterans.”
Leave your poppy at your local cenotaph
Dropping off poppies at cenotaphs following the Remembrance Day service has become a tradition. You should check with local bylaws to make sure that doing so is permitted.
Don’t put anything in front of the poppy
Even a Canadian flag pin is considered inappropriate. The legion stressed that the style of the poppy shouldn’t change.
Poppies made from different materials are okay
So long as the style is maintained (shapes and colours), poppies made from any material is fine.
“Sometimes when I wear this one, I get the little brotherhood nod from other First Nations people because they recognize that as a First Nations poppy,” said Racelle Kooy, director of communications at the First Nations University of Canada, as she held up a hand-beaded poppy with a leather back. “I think it’s a great opportunity to capture people’s attention and remind them that there’s a diversity in those who serve.”
Although it’s her main poppy, she still donates every year to the poppy campaign.
Poppy keepers do just that
She said that redesigning the poppy to better secure it to clothing, such as adding a backing, would increase production costs.
“We would much rather see our money going to programs that support veterans and serving Canadian military,” she said.
However, there are ways to prevent poppies from falling off.
Poppy keepers, available at most legion branches, are small plastic tubes that attach to the back.
There is another option, added Cooke: “Say, ‘Sis, I need to borrow your earrings for a minute,’ grab the backing off it and that’s exactly what will work.”