What does a white poppy mean and why are people wearing them ahead of Remembrance Day 2021

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  • Both red poppies and white poppies will be seen in the run-up to Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday but what does a white poppy mean?

    Remembrance Day falls on the 11th of November each year. On this day, on the 11th hour of that 11th day of the 11th month, a minutes’ silence is traditionally observed.

    People start wearing poppies in the run-up to this day, with most following tradition by wearing their poppy on the left. Though the Queen wears five poppies – with each one holding a special meaning.

    It is a tribute dedicated to those soldiers who died fighting to protect the nation.

    And millions of people are expected to mark the historical service, which will be held on Sunday 14th November, as it is always held on the second weekend of November. However this year the Queen will be absent from the London service.

    We look at what does the white poppy means and what does it symbolise…

    What does a white poppy mean?

    White poppies represent three things. – remembrance for all victims of war, commitment to peace, and a challenge to the glamorisation of conflict, according to the Peace Pledge Union (PPU).

    The white poppies were first conceived by the Co-operative Women’s Guild – a national organisation set up to provide women in co-operatives a voice in 1933.

    They soon became used by non-violent and faith organisations and were also frequently worn by the widows and children of dead soldiers.

    White poppies have been distributed for Remembrance Day since 1936 and the white poppy wreath was laid from 1937 – as a pledge to peace that war must not happen again.

    It’s understood that anti-war organisations such as the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship now support the White Poppy Movement.

    White poppy - what does a white poppy mean?

    Credit: Getty

    Where does the money go from white poppies?

    Any profits from the sale of white poppies go towards promoting peaceful alternatives to war, campaigning against militarism, and our peace education work.

    But in reality, far fewer white poppies are currently sold than red poppies, so any profits they make are relatively small.

    You can now order poppies online for them to arrive in the post. The Royal British Legion shared the news with its followers on Instagram and captioned the clip, ‘Did you know you can order poppies in the post?

    ‘Order before midnight tonight to ensure you receive your poppies in time for Remembrance, and distribute them to friends and family for a donation to the Poppy Appeal. Link in bio.’