What do the different poppies represent?


As in previous years, Remembrance Sunday was observed on the second Sunday of the month, with millions of people remembering the sacrifices made by both British, and Commonwealth Armed Forces. Memorial services were held across the country, and at 11:00 am a two minute silence was observed.

The red poppy is traditionally worn to remember not only those who died during WWI, but also those who died before and after the war. Despite their popularity, you may have seen white or even black poppies on your TV screens or in your local communities during the weekend. Here's what these poppies stand for.

Black Poppy

The Black Poppy is worn to commemorate the contributions of African/Black/Caribbean/Pacific Islands & Indigenous Communities across various War Efforts since the 16th century. It is still relatively new having been made by Selena Carter in 2010. Speaking in 2019, she explained the motivation behind the black poppy.

‘The poppy is something that we remember from the war generally so it's not a new concept for people to have to work out or understand and in the rose is something that we see in different cultures which can mean different thing, so I brought it in to mean honour and respect not just for the servicemen but for the men women and children who also contributed to the war that we generally don't remember..’

White Poppy

The white poppy remembers the deaths of all war victims, both civilians and military troops. According to the Peace Pledge Union, the pacifist organisation that makes the white poppy, remembrance also extends to victims of current wars. The white poppy, they say, is meant to '‘challenge attempts to glorify or celebrate war’ and 'encourages us to stand up for peace and resist the causes of war and militarism today.'

A considerable proportion of war casualties are civilians, and the white poppy seeks to incorporate these losses into the broader memorial narrative. The white poppy is far older than the black poppy, although it has made a comeback in recent years.

Khadi Poppy

Jitesh Gadhia and The Royal British Legion created the Khadi poppy. The petals of the poppy are also red but they differ from the traditional poppy in that they are fashioned of khadi, a spun cotton textile popularised by Mahatma Gandhi on his spinning wheel. It was famously launched in 2018, the year of the conflict's centennial commemorations, and is used to remember the 74,000 Indian soldiers who died during the War.

Mayowa Ayodele