Rainbow poppy sparks LGBT+ remembrance debate online

The seller said they have received 'vile' messages

Thursday, November 7, 2019

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.

Read more

Lib Dem MEP 'cynical' about Brexiteers wearing poppies

Market trader selling unofficial poppy brooches admits trademark offences