Kitchener-Waterloo

How to wear a poppy properly

The poppy is an international symbol of remembrance. Here are some tips on how to wear yours properly.

'The important thing is that the poppy is worn in an act of commemoration'

You've got your poppy, now what's the proper way to wear it? (CBC)

Remembrance Day is Friday and poppies will be adorning sweaters and jackets as people attend services.

The poppy is an international symbol of remembrance. But you may wonder, what's the proper way to wear a poppy?

"The important thing, of course, is that the poppy is worn in an act of commemoration," Bill Maxwell, senior program officer and secretary of the poppy and remembrance committee for the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command, told CBC News.

Where to wear it

"It's to wear with respect on the left breast close to the heart and it should be used appropriately," Maxwell said.

There are some people in uniform who will wear it on the top left hand side of their hat. That's also acceptable, he said.

How to secure it

The position of the legion is that "nothing should deface the poppy itself," Maxwell said.

That means putting a Canada flag pin through the poppy is frowned upon, but the Legion does have "poppy keepers," a small, clear plastic piece that fixes on the pin to secure the poppy to clothing.

Other poppy-related items

You may have seen wristbands, T-shirts or hats with poppies on them. Maxwell says the poppy as a flower is not copyrighted, but the "remembrance poppy" has been trademarked since 1948.

"Anything to do with the poppy and remembrance, the poppy symbol is a registered trademark with the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command, and any usage must be approved," he said.

Remembrance poppy symbols are not allowed for commercial use, he added, even if people change the look of them, such as adding a yellow or green centre.

The legion also has a Poppy Store on its website, where people can purchase items such as shirts, scarves, bags, pins and suncatchers.

When to remove your poppy

There is no set time to wear a poppy, but traditionally, the remembrance period is from the last Friday in October until the end of day on Nov. 11.

The poppy can also be worn at other commemorative events, by colour parties on parade and by members attending funeral services for veterans.

with files from Kate Bueckert

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