It appear that some years ago, at a time when the Mail and Sun were questioning the BBCs Britishness, an executive decreed that all presenters must wear a red poppy in the two weeks before Remembrance Sunday. Recently this decree has been relaxed but wonder of wonders red poppies have bloomed on the most inauspicious garments. The biggest distraction on television in the run up to Remembrance Sunday is not so much spotting if anyone wore a white poppy but spotting anyone who did not. The BBC continues to be unenthusiastic about the wearing of white poppies by their staff.

2009 was a bumper year for white poppies; more were sold and distributed than had been the case for many years. More white poppies are now bought online that by other means and this year we tried to get a picture of where people have hear about the white poppy and why the bought it. Of we could make a good guess at the answers but a confirmation is interesting none the less. Thank you to all of you who replied on the online form.

Many people had known about the white poppy for some years though few remembered how they first came across it. Many came across it on various peace websites, some googled after hearing about is in the press, on TV or the radio. Twitter and Facebook were also recent sources. Some came across people selling white poppies on the street, one person was told about them by a ‘pacifist in South Africa’ while another found out about them at a ‘Machine Gun Corps Exhibition’. Quite a few people were introduced to white poppies at school by teachers or fellow pupils. We were particularly please that many found about the white poppies via posters in schools, bookshops, doctor surgeries and health centers.

People’s reasons for getting the whites poppy also varied. Most bought white poppies to spread awareness of wider issues and challenge the increasingly militaristic tenor of Remembrance Day whether amongst friends, colleagues or in church or school.

One person (thought there might have been more) bought white poppies because their old one was dirty. Naturally we do not approve of dirty white poppies and are looking into the quality of the silk they are made of so they survive a bit of rain – but you know – keeping poppies to use the following year is not good for our fundraising!

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