A couple of weeks ago my daughter, aged seven, came home from school, requesting money for a poppy. With liberal indulgence, I explained why I believe wearing a red poppy linked to those who continue to make war is wrong.
Then, with more difficulty, I explained why the pacifist white poppy is also problematic. I gave her 50p and told her to spend it wisely using her judgement.
The red poppy has been sold by the British Legion since its formation in 1921, but this was not the first veterans’ association. After the First World War, demobilised soldiers were promised “a land fit for heroes to