What are those red and green things pinned to the lapels of people on the BBC?
November 6, 2004 5:39 AM   Subscribe

What are those red and green things pinned to the lapels of nearly everybody on the BBC these days?
posted by ar0n to Grab Bag (16 answers total)
 
The Royal British Legion
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:55 AM on November 6, 2004


If you come to Britain in the time of year leading up to Remembrance Sunday (used to be Armistice Day just like Veteran's Day was in the U.S.), you'll find poppies on many, many people. The BBC explains why.
posted by grouse at 5:57 AM on November 6, 2004


You will also see them on reports at the CBC, as Canadians wear poppies in November for Remembrance Day, which is November 11th.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:00 AM on November 6, 2004


Thanks, all. This is excellent.
posted by ar0n at 7:54 AM on November 6, 2004


The USA doesn't have Remembrance Day poppies? Why not?!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:17 AM on November 6, 2004


Because we were barely in WW1, praise be.

The Civil War takes the mythological place that WW1 has in Europe and Canada, because that's when we bled the land dry.

Memorial Day, which comes out of the Civil War, is a much bigger patriotic "deal" than 11/11. Even if it's still mostly a day to go to the beach or a day that marks the semiofficial beginning of summer.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:06 AM on November 6, 2004


When I was in England and had to take a bus down to London on Remembrance Day, several friends told me that it was a distinct possibility that the bus would pull over to the side of the road at 11:00am for two minutes of silence. As it turns out, that didn't happen, but it was indicative of just how seriously the day is taken over there.

Here in Canada, we certainly observe it, but with nowhere near the same level of commitment/respect as in the UK. In fact, I was shocked to find out that Remembrance Day isn't a statutory public holiday in Ontario. The Ontario-based company for which I work even has three corporate earnings reports scheduled on November 11th, all starting at 11:00am.

That's cold, man...cold.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 11:41 AM on November 6, 2004


The Remembrance Day commemorations are used to guilt trip the nation into financially supporting veterans of wars which the government, as sponsor of these wars, should do. Any and all welfare, pension, education or social needs that vets have should be provided by the state that put them in harm's way.

It is privatisation of the due gratitude which the wounded survivors should receive from their political masters. No old soldiers should be in need of the relief provided by funds from the Poppy Day sales, and I'd rather see the RBL campaign for state support than ask me for money for the vets.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:52 AM on November 6, 2004


I agree with dash_slot-, and would also add the RNLI to things that the UK should not rely upon charity to fund.
posted by normy at 12:17 PM on November 6, 2004


They do have poppies in America on what we call Veterans Day. They're made by disabled veterans and sold by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and they're called Buddy poppies.
posted by zsazsa at 1:22 PM on November 6, 2004


(soon to be called freedom poppies.)
posted by Hankins at 2:04 PM on November 6, 2004


I didn't know they had poppies in the U.S. In Canada we all wore them for Rememberance Day, even in grade school. I will have to stop by the VFW post to get one.
posted by substrate at 5:17 PM on November 6, 2004


Canadian students in the states have poppies sent to them for Remembrance Day. I don't really know the Canadian club at my school (all undergrads), but I will still ask them for one, because I would just feel strange not wearing it. It's very important, even if it's not statutory in Ontario.
posted by jb at 2:57 AM on November 7, 2004


We do, indeed, have poppies in the US. The VFW and the American Legion both sell them. My father is a stalwart American Legion guy and we always had poppies.


November 11 used to be called "Armistice Day" in the US before it was renamed "Veterans' Day".
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:04 AM on November 8, 2004


JB, you can get poppies from your local American Legion or VFW (although I suppose that those poppies might in theory commemorate US casualties of WWI, not Canadian casualties of same, but I think they're exactly the same poppies).

There's a big American Legion post in West Haven, I know.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:10 AM on November 8, 2004


Finally, I should point out that Memorial Day (in May) is the traditional "Poppy Day" in the US, rather than Veterans' Day (in November). However, American Legion posts often have poppies available in November as well, for those who want to honor family members who served in World War I.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:15 AM on November 8, 2004


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