White Poppies

What do white poppies represent?

White poppies are worn in the run-up to Remembrance Day every year by thousands of people in the UK and beyond. Having been worn in this way for over eighty years. They can be worn on their own or alongside a red poppy.

There are three elements to their meaning:

  • they represent remembrance for all victims of war
  • a commitment to peace and
  • a challenge to attempts to glamourise or celebrate war

Remember all the victims of war
White poppies recall all victims of all wars, including victims of wars that are still being fought. This includes people of all nationalities. It includes both civilians and members of armed forces. Today, over 90% of people killed in warfare are civilians.

In wearing them, we remember all those killed in war, all those wounded in body or mind, the millions who have been made sick or homeless by war and the families and communities torn apart.

Stand up for peace
White poppies symbolise the conviction that there are better ways to resolve conflict than through the use of violence. They embody values that reject killing fellow human beings for whatever reason.

Challenge militarism
A message originally associated with Remembrance Day, after the First World War, was “never again”. This message slipped away. In response, white poppies were developed in 1933 by the Co-operative Women’s Guild to affirm the message of “no more war”.

Working for peace is the natural consequence of remembering the victims of war.

Where can I get one?

In the Courtyard Cafe here at Quaker Tapestry Museum in Kendal. White poppies are distributed by the Peace Pledge Union (PPU)  You may find these poppies are also available at your local Quaker Meeting.

“Who would have thought a wash-day could be so much fun, I have learnt such a lot today!”

Jill, volunteer, Care & Conservation of the Collection Team