Each year in the run up to November 11, you’ll see people pinning red poppies to their jackets.
The little paper flowers or badges are worn for Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day as it’s also known and are intended to honour those who have died in the line of duty.
Traditionally, the flowers are red, but recently some people have been opting to buy or make their own unofficial rainbow versions.
This move has caused outrage on social media as many view it as “disrespectful”.
She said: “Why am I seeing rainbow poppies being made, not to be rude but there is a whole month dedicated to the LGBT community, can the heroes that fought for our country have the ONE day to be remembered without it being about sexuality. It’s going too far now.”
More than 34,500 people have liked the post, with over 7,300 retweeting it.
Some agreed with her words arguing that a poppy should only ever be red.
One person replied: “I think I’m right in saying, the only colour poppy sold by the Royal British Legion is red. All monies raised by the selling of these red poppies go toward ex-servicemen. If it’s not a red poppy, it doesn’t stand for anything and money raised does not go to charity.”
Someone else agreed adding: “A poppy is red, it’s not multi-coloured and it represents our heroes, men, women, gay, straight. I’ve said this before, leave the poppy alone!!!”
However others viewed the rainbow poppy as a “symbol of respect for LGBT soldiers”.
A different user argued: “Wish people would understand the rainbow poppy is meant to be a symbol of respect to LGBT soldiers who had to fight/hide being gay due to the laws all being against it?”
A second person added: “If you’re getting a bit offended by the rainbow poppy, which is for our fallen queer soldiers, the issue is with you and not us. It’s for people like Alan urning and many other fallen soldiers who were LGBTQ+.”
Some people didn’t mind what sort of poppy was worn – as long as people donated to the RBL and marked the occasion accordingly.
“Does it matter what colour the poppy is as long as all the money goes to the same cause,” asked another user.
A sixth added: “Let people wear whatever poppy they like, whatever colour. As long as the reason its worn is universal the colour shouldn’t matter.”
A spokesperson for The Royal British Legion said: “We can confirm we have not altered our red two petal poppy or issued a rainbow poppy. The red poppy recognises the service and sacrifice of people from all communities who have served with the British Armed Forces including those from the LGBTQ+ community.”
Why do we wear a red poppy?
According to the Royal British Legion website, the red poppy is “a symbol of both Remembrance and hope for a peaceful future”.
They explain: “Poppies are worn as a show of support for the Armed Forces community.
“The poppy is a well-known and well-established symbol, one that carries a wealth of history and meaning with it. Wearing a poppy is still a very personal choice, reflecting individual experiences and personal memories.
“It is never compulsory but is greatly appreciated by those who it is intended to support.”
They add that there is no “correct” way to wear a poppy, before going on to detail the history behind the symbol.
It all started back in Western Europe in World War One. The countryside where the fighting was taking place was repeatedly being blasted and bombed. The previously beautiful landscape had become muddy and bleak.
Nothing grew on the land, except for bright red Flanders poppies, which flourished in the middle of so much chaos and destruction.
In 1915, these flowers moved the Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae to write the now famous poem, ‘In Flanders Fields’.
The poem later inspired American academic Moina Michael to adopt the poppy as a symbol of remembrance and she campaigned to make it an official symbol across the US, Canada, Australia and the UK.
She met with Earl Haig, the founder of RBL in 1921 and persuaded him to use the poppy as the Legion’s emblem – and it remains the emblem today.
To find out more about Remembrance Day, the Royal British Legion or to buy a poppy, visit https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/