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Remembrance Day: Why people wear poppies and others don't - BBC News

it started as a simple symbol of remembrance but in recent years the

poppy has grown far beyond the lapel they've popped up in all sorts of places

from puppets to toasters causing tensions between those who support it as

well as those who don't and for some the decision not to wear a poppy is national

news we'll hear later about the footballer who's received death threats

for not wearing it you might have heard the term poppy fascism sometimes used to

describe people who draw attention to public figures who don't wear the poppy

but they're a tradition that have been running for a hundred years so where did

it begin let's go back to 1915 world war one picture the scene John McCrae a

Canadian Army doctor came across a devastating scene of chaos and

destruction at the Second Battle of Ypres inspiring him to write a poem if

he break faith with us who die we shall not sleep though poppies grow in

Flanders Fields he saw so many casualties and the way in which war

destroyed lives in he too lost valuable friends and comrades yet defiantly the

red Flanders poppy grew in the muddy battlefields and he was inspired to

write the poem in Flanders Fields in 1921 the poppy was adopted by the

British Legion to be sold to raise money for veterans

the debate over poppies isn't new the BBC is closely watched for its policies

around Maire presenters and on our guests summer see is a test of

patriotism for public figures the discussion has also extended onto the

football pitch Manchester United midfielder na manja Matich recently said

he will no longer wear a poppy on his shirt because it reminds him of when

Serbia was bombed when he was just 12 he said in an Instagram post that he didn't

want to offend anyone but it was a personal choice

another footballer James McLane has received death threats and abuse for his

decision not to wear it in 2012 twenty-three-year-old Whitfield he was

criticized for his decision not to plan a home he feeling should either support

your own funds and I don't and you know that this Rotom a farm and then on the

way home we pulled up a traffic lights and were pulled up and there's my cars

here and there's a car here and they Carol don't know I'm the one but no

wonder and drove off he still refuses to wear them today McClain is from Northern

Ireland why the role played by the British Army means the poppy is a

devices symbol and you might remember in 2016 when England and Scotland got into

trouble with FIFA for their decision to wear them during a match

FIFA we're treating poppies is a political symbol I think that's been

taken by FIFA is utterly outrageous FIFA's now changed its stance but it's

not just public figures who've been judged for their choices I was on radio

call-in show last year discussing this the first time I heard his comments and

heard what he had written my reaction was why hasn't he been shot if you dare

to stick your head above the parapet like this you're the one who gets shot

at and you can't have a grown-up debate about it in this country Remembrance

originally was the people who had lost loved ones mourning their dead now it's

become sort of a nationalistic sparring match between competing sides but lots

of young people continue to wear it as a sign of their pride for generations of

ex-servicemen and women it's important as we move through the generations that

work were one mobile to are not forgotten it's a symbol of remembrance

through those thousands of men that we lost so many years ago that we wouldn't

be here today without them on those battlefields after the mud and the rain

and everything was washed away the puppy was the first symbol of peace and hope

that came out of that and I think that's really what the poppy represents now the

Royal British Legion say the poppy is a symbol of remembrance and hope

not a symbol of death or a sign of support for war but 100 years after the

war that seeded the poppy and we've nobody now laughed who served on those

fields have modern values and beliefs grown too far from the original roots of

the appeal