Poppy fascism: What is it?

Words: Leanne Hall | Subbed: Brenda Zini


Poppy Appeal is one of the leading charities that help rehabilitate soldiers after deployment. However, over the recent years, an increasing number of people are choosing not to wear poppies.

Remembrance Sunday is a day that originally marks the lives of those fallen on the battlefield during WW1 and WW2. It is officially thought of as a reminder to those who gave us a free, democratic country. It is also a mark of respect to those who have served in the army after this time, so why are there so many people against it?

The peace pledge union’s white anti-war poppy.

The red poppy is thought to have lost its original identity. Many people see it as a sign of patriotism, a true mark of how British you really are. And if you don’t wear it? You aren’t proud to be British, and you don’t support the soldiers protecting you.

“Lot’s of countries helped England in the war, the poppy doesn’t recognise that. So no, I won’t wear a poppy.” Charmaine Davy, 39, bar manager.

The term poppy fascism is becoming increasingly popular, it comes from people choosing not to wear a poppy and receiving enormous amounts of backlash for it. Jon Snow, the most well-known presenter from Channel 4 has spoken outright about his own decision on not wearing a poppy on TV. Snow admits to wearing one off screen but has said he does not wish to wear symbols on screen (including a crucifix or cancer ribbon.)

 “There is a rather unpleasant breed of poppy fascism out there – ‘he damned well must wear a poppy!’. Well I do, in my private life, but I am not going to wear it or any other symbol on air.” Jon Snow, 70, journalist.

This is not the only reason people choose not to wear one. Some believe it is promoting illegal wars.


Others just want to make a point about freedom of choice.

Whilst some believe it doesn’t represent what it used to.


The Peace Pledge Union created a white poppy, as a peaceful protest against war: “Challenging us to remember all those who died and are dying in war by working to prevent wars ever happening again. The white poppy is a symbol, a pledge to peace that war must not happen again.”

The divide in wearing a poppy has created such a stir in the past few years that there are now Twitter accounts created entirely to out people for not wearing one.

Giant poppy watch on Twitter.

VoL interviewed people about Remembrance Sunday and whether they will be wearing a poppy.


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