Scotland Times

Friday, May 24, 2024

Remembrance Sunday: What's different about the Scottish poppy?

These distinct poppies are made at Lady Haig's poppy factory in Edinburgh, founded in 1926 by Lady Haig, who introduced this unique design.

The Scottish poppy, worn during Remembrance Sunday events, differs from the poppy used in the rest of the UK. The key differences are its four-lobed petals without a leaf, contrasting with the two-petaled version with a green leaf commonly seen elsewhere in the UK.

The factory, staffed by a team of 33 disabled veterans involved in various conflicts, continues to produce poppies, with 50% of the material now made from recycled coffee cups. The design has been modified to reduce plastic waste, eliminating the green plastic stem and black button.

The concept of the poppy as a remembrance symbol originated with American humanitarian Moina Michael, inspired by Lt Colonel John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields." Lady Haig established the Edinburgh factory to meet the demand in Scotland after the first Poppy Appeal in 1921.

Each year, the Lady Haig poppy factory distributes around three million poppies, including one million that are plastic-free, and 38,000 wreaths. In contrast, the Royal British Legion produces about 40 million poppies annually for the rest of the UK.

The Poppy Appeal involves more than just poppies. It includes a range of merchandise like wreaths, brooches, and T-shirts to raise funds. Poppyscotland, operating as a distinct charity within the Royal British Legion group, focuses on fundraising efforts in Scotland, with all money raised being spent locally.

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