Red or White?

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Poppies in FlandersThe thinktank [Ekklesia->http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/] have issued a statement labelling [the red poppy ‘politically correct and less Christian than the white variety’->http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,,-6201783,00.html]. Not sure about the white poppy being more Christian myself – it depends, surely, on your views about just wars and what you think the red poppy represents. But I echo their concerns about the political correctness of the red poppy. I’ve noticed in recent years that not only does every news reader/presenter/weatherman/chat show host have to wear a poppy; they are wearing them earlier and earlier. It’s not about a genuine remembrance of the sacrifice of so many for our freedom; it’s about fear of being criticised for not wearing the thing.

Also I wonder sometimes what we’re remembering. The red poppy is supposed to remember the dead, not glorify war. The origin of the poppy as a symbol lies in the first world war – one of the most futile, barbaric, horrific conflicts ever witnessed; nothing much to ‘celebrate’ there. But an awful lot to remember. And maybe if we truly remembered; if we really recalled that war is not clean and quick, but slow, nasty and brutal, then we wouldn’t be so gung-ho to rush into conflict today.