A sparkly rainbow poppy badge listed on eBay has ignited online debate around a proposed LGBT+ version of the Remembrance Day symbol.
The product seller, who said they had received “vile and rude messages”, described it as a “rainbow glittery poppy style badge” and never claimed it to be a memorial to LGBT+ soldiers – but the brooch started a discussion over whether there should be such a poppy.
Political commentator Darren Grimes was one of those criticising the idea, accusing the LGBT+ community of “self-indulgence” in “hijacking” the emblem.
The Brexit activist tweeted: “The poppy movement is about the horror of it; the magnificent, unreasoning, self-sacrifice of which human beings are capable; only a monster wouldn’t be moved.
“The hijacking of it by other groups is vile.”
However, others have argued that remembering LGBT+ soldiers does not take away from the original message.
In one thread, Twitter user Alex Gough said: “It’s as simple as this. To acknowledge those who fought and died for their country who happen to be a part of the LGBT community doesn’t change the respect you have for the overall cause”.
The Royal British Legion, which runs the Poppy Appeal, has said it has not issued a rainbow poppy and any new products would be considered after it has conducted this year’s Remembrance events.
A spokeswoman said: “The red poppy recognises the service and sacrifice of people from all communities who have served with the British Armed Forces including those from the LGBTQ+ community.”
Other organisations have issued different types of poppies designed to remember specific groups. They include:
- The War Horse Memorial – purple poppy – to remember the animals that died in conflict
- Black Poppy Rose – black poppy – to commemorate the contribution of African, black and Caribbean communities
- Peace Pledge Union – white poppy – to remember all who died and put a focus on ending war.