The Royal Canadian Legion has told an Ottawa-based internet news site to stop using its poppy image to commemorate Remembrance Day.

Pierre Bourque removed the Canadian poppy symbol from his website and replaced it with a British poppy image after warning e-mails from the legion's poppy and remembrance committee.

The committee said unauthorized use of the poppy symbol could reduce the flower's value as a symbol of war remembrance, according to e-mail excerpts that Bourque posted on his site.

"The poppy is a trademark of the legion and anyone who wants to use it has to apply," wrote Bob Butt, the communications director of the organization's Dominion Command. "Otherwise it would be all over the place."

Butt's e-mail added: "Sorry, I know your heart and many others are in the right place."

Though Bourque has taken the Canadian poppy image from his site, he defended his use of the graphic in a message posted on his site over the weekend.

"Bourque Newswatch was merely promoting Remembrance Week and the Royal Canadian Legion, and honouring those men and women who have fought and given so much for us," he wrote. "Nothing more, nothing less."

Bourque also said a quick internet search found 589 "remembrance poppy" images in less than one-10th of a second.

He pointed out that the Royal British Legion actively encourages groups to download and use its poppy symbol "for maximum online visibility."