Remembrance poppy
The remembrance poppy (a Papaver rhoeas) has been used since 1920 to commemorate soldiers who have died in war. They were first used in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 to commemorate soldiers who died in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 (1914–1918). Today, they are mainly used in current and former Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 states to commemorate their servicemen and women who have been killed since 1914. In those states, small artificial poppies are often worn on clothing on Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

/Armistice Day
Armistice Day
Armistice Day is on 11 November and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day...

 (11 November) and in the weeks before it. Poppy wreath
A wreath is an assortment of flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs and/or various materials that is constructed to resemble a ring. They are used typically as Christmas decorations to symbolize the coming of Christ, also known as the Advent season in Christianity. They are also used as festive headdresses...

s are also often laid at war memorial
War memorial
A war memorial is a building, monument, statue or other edifice to celebrate a war or victory, or to commemorate those who died or were injured in war.-Historic usage:...



The use of the poppy was inspired by the World War I poem "In Flanders Fields
In Flanders Fields
"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most notable poems written during World War I, created in the form of a French rondeau. It has been called "the most popular poem" produced during that period...

". Its opening lines refer to the many poppies that were the first flowers to grow in the churned-up earth of soldiers' graves in Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

, a region of Europe that overlies parts of Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 and France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Canadian
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 physician and Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

 John McCrae
John McCrae
Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres...

 is popularly believed to have written it on 3 May 1915 after witnessing the death of his friend (a fellow soldier) the day before. The poem was first published on 8 December 1915 in the London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

-based magazine Punch
Punch (magazine)
Punch, or the London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire established in 1841 by Henry Mayhew and engraver Ebenezer Landells. Historically, it was most influential in the 1840s and 50s, when it helped to coin the term "cartoon" in its modern sense as a humorous illustration...


In 1918, American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 YWCA worker Moina Michael
Moina Michael
Moina Michael was a U.S. professor and humanitarian who conceived the idea of using poppies as a symbol of remembrance for those who served in World War I....

, inspired by the poem, published a poem of her own called "We Shall Keep the Faith
We Shall Keep the Faith
"We Shall Keep the Faith" is a poem penned by Moina Michael in November 1918. She received inspiration for this poem from In Flanders Fields...

". In tribute to McCrae's poem, she vowed to always wear a red poppy as a symbol of remembrance for those who served in the war. At a November 1918 YWCA Overseas War Secretaries' conference, she appeared with a silk poppy pinned to her coat and distributed 25 more to those attending. She then campaigned to have the poppy adopted as a national symbol of remembrance. At a conference in 1920, the National American Legion adopted it as their official symbol of remembrance. At this conference, Frenchwoman Anna E. Guérin was inspired to introduce the artificial poppies commonly used today. In 1921 she sent her poppy sellers to London, where they were adopted by Field Marshal Douglas Haig
Douglas Haig
Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig was a British soldier and senior commander during World War I.Douglas Haig may also refer to:* Club Atlético Douglas Haig, a football club from Argentina* Douglas Haig , American actor...

, a founder of the Royal British Legion. It was also adopted by veterans' groups in Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...


Commonwealth of Nations


In Canada, the poppy is the official symbol of remembrance worn during the two weeks before 11 November, after having been adopted in 1921. The Royal Canadian Legion
Royal Canadian Legion
The Royal Canadian Legion is a non-profit Canadian ex-service organization founded in 1925, with more than 400,000 members worldwide. Membership includes people who have served as current and former military, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and municipal police, direct relatives of...

, which has trademarked the image, suggests that poppies be worn on the left lapel, or as close to the heart as possible.

The Canadian poppies consist of two pieces of moulded plastic covered with flocking
Flocking (texture)
Flocking is the process of depositing many small fiber particles onto a surface. It can also refer to the texture produced by the process, or to any material used primarily for its flocked surface. Flocking of an article can be performed for the purpose of increasing its value in terms of the...

 with a pin to attach them to clothing. At first the poppies were made with a black center. From 1980 to 2002, the centers were changed to green. Current designs are black only; this change caused confusion and controversy to those unfamiliar with the original design.

Until 1996, poppies were made by disabled veterans in Canada, but they have since been made by a private contractor.

In 2007, sticker versions of the poppy were made for children, the elderly, and healthcare and food industry workers.
Canada also issues a cast metal "Canada Remembers" pin featuring a gold maple leaf and two poppies, one representing the fallen and the other representing those who remained on the home front
Home front
Home front is the informal term commonly used to describe the civilian populace of the nation at war as an active support system of their military....


Following the installation of the Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located at the National War Memorial in Confederation Square, Ottawa. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added to the war memorial in 2000, and holds the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier who died in France during World War I...

 at the National War Memorial in Ottawa in 2000, where the national Remembrance service is held, a new tradition formed spontaneously as attendees placed their poppies on the tomb at the end of the service. This tradition, while not part of the official program, has become widely practiced elsewhere in the country, with others leaving cut flowers, photographs, or letters to the deceased.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, paper poppies are sold by The Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion , sometimes referred to as simply The Legion, is the United Kingdom's leading charity providing financial, social and emotional support to those who have served or who are currently serving in the British Armed Forces, and their dependants.-History:The British Legion was...

 (RBL) and Haig Fund
Haig Fund
The Haig Fund is a charity set up in 1921 by Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig to assist ex-servicemen. Today, the Haig Fund continues to support veterans from all conflicts and other military actions involving British Armed Forces up to today. Its members sell remembrance poppies in the...

. These are charities
Charitable organization
A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization . It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A...

 providing financial, social and emotional support to those who have served or who are currently serving in the British Armed Forces
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

, and their dependants. They are sold on the streets by volunteers in the weeks before Remembrance Day.

In England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, and Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, the poppies have two red petals, a green paper leaf and are mounted on a green plastic stem. In Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, the poppies are curled and have four petals with no leaf and are sold by Earl Haig Fund Scotland
Earl Haig Fund Scotland
The Earl Haig Fund Scotland, trading as poppyscotland, is a Scottish charity for veterans of the British Armed Forces and their dependants. It was founded in 1921 by Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig as part of the broader British Haig Fund...

. The yearly selling of poppies is a major source of income for the RBL in the UK. The poppy has no fixed price; it is sold for a donation or the price may be suggested by the seller. The black plastic center of the poppy was marked "Haig Fund" until 1994 but is now marked "Poppy Appeal". A team of about 50 people—most of them disabled former British military personnel—work all year round to make millions of poppies at the Poppy Factory
Poppy Factory
The Poppy Factory is a factory in Richmond, Surrey, where remembrance poppies are made. It was established in 1922 and makes approximately 36 million poppies each year...

 in Richmond.

In the early years after World War I, poppies were worn only on Remembrance Day itself. However, today the RBL's "Poppy Appeal" has a higher profile than any other charity appeal in the UK. The poppies are widespread from late October until mid-November every year and are worn by the general public, politicians, the Royal Family, and others in public life. It has also become common to see poppies on cars, lorries and other forms of public transport such as aeroplanes, buses, and trams. Many magazines and newspapers also show a poppy on their cover page, and some social network
Social network service
A social networking service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, who, for example, share interests and/or activities. A social network service consists of a representation of each user , his/her social...

 users add poppies to their avatar
Avatar (computing)
In computing, an avatar is the graphical representation of the user or the user's alter ego or character. It may take either a three-dimensional form, as in games or virtual worlds, or a two-dimensional form as an icon in Internet forums and other online communities. It can also refer to a text...

s. In 2011, a WWII plane dropped 6,000 poppies over the town of Yeovil
Yeovil is a town and civil parish in south Somerset, England. The parish had a population of 27,949 at the 2001 census, although the wider urban area had a population of 42,140...

 in Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

 and Arsenal FC announced they would be playing with a special poppy shirt on Remembrance Day for their game against West Bromwich Albion.. FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

 had told the football teams of England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

, Wales
Wales national football team
The Wales national football team represents Wales in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Wales , the governing body for football in Wales, and the third oldest national football association in the world. The team have only qualified for a major international...

 and Scotland
Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872...

 that they were forbidden to wear an embroidered poppy on their jerseys during their matches. FIFA's ruling upset war veterans, who called it "disgraceful". Prince William, Duke of Cambridge wrote a letter to FIFA demanding that the ban be overturned, stating that the poppy is not political symbol but a symbol of those who have died in war. FIFA has since overturned the ban for all three national teams, allowing them to wear a poppy on black armbands.

Some have criticized the level of compulsion associated with the custom.

Journalist Robert Fisk
Robert Fisk
Robert Fisk is an English writer and journalist from Maidstone, Kent. As Middle East correspondent of The Independent, he has primarily been based in Beirut for more than 30 years. He has published a number of books and has reported on the United States's war in Afghanistan and the same country's...

 complained that the poppy has become a seasonal "fashion accessory" and that people were "ostentatiously wearing a poppy for social or work-related reasons, to look patriotic when it suited them".
Northern Ireland

The Royal British Legion also holds a yearly poppy appeal in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 and in 2009 raised more than £1 million. However, the wearing of poppies in Northern Ireland is controversial. It is seen by many as a political symbol representing support for the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

. The poppy has long been the preserve of the unionist
Unionism in Ireland
Unionism in Ireland is an ideology that favours the continuation of some form of political union between the islands of Ireland and Great Britain...

Ulster loyalism
Ulster loyalism is an ideology that is opposed to a united Ireland. It can mean either support for upholding Northern Ireland's status as a constituent part of the United Kingdom , support for Northern Ireland independence, or support for loyalist paramilitaries...

 community and it is seen as a symbol of Britishness
Britishness is the state or quality of being British, or of embodying British characteristics, and is used to refer to that which binds and distinguishes the British people and forms the basis of their unity and identity, or else to explain expressions of British culture—such as habits, behaviours...


Most Irish nationalists
Irish nationalism
Irish nationalism manifests itself in political and social movements and in sentiment inspired by a love for Irish culture, language and history, and as a sense of pride in Ireland and in the Irish people...

Irish Republicanism
Irish republicanism is an ideology based on the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic.In 1801, under the Act of Union, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 refuse to wear one and those who do have come under fire. They note that the poppy appeal supports soldiers who killed civilians (for example Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday (1972)
Bloody Sunday —sometimes called the Bogside Massacre—was an incident on 30 January 1972 in the Bogside area of Derry, Northern Ireland, in which twenty-six unarmed civil rights protesters and bystanders were shot by soldiers of the British Army...

) and who colluded with loyalist paramilitaries (for example the Glenanne gang
Glenanne gang
The Glenanne gang was a name given, since 2003, to a loose alliance of Northern Irish loyalist extremists who carried out sectarian killings and bomb attacks in the 1970s against the Irish Catholic and Irish nationalist community. Most of its attacks took place in the area of County Armagh and mid...

) during "The Troubles
The Troubles
The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into England, the Republic of Ireland, and mainland Europe. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the late 1960s and considered by many to have ended with the Belfast...


In 2008, the director of Relatives for Justice
Relatives For Justice
The Relatives For Justice are a support and pressure group formed in the mid-1990s in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The group are primarily involved with providing support and working with relatives of people bereaved, injured or affected by alleged state and state sponsored violence during the...

 condemned the wearing of poppies by police officers in nationalist areas. He called it "repugnant and offensive to the vast majority of people within our community, given the role of the British Army". In 2009, Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone". Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970...

's Glenn Campbell berated the policy that all BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 TV presenters must wear poppies in the run-up to Remembrance Day. He branded it "crass" and "offensive to the majority of nationalists and republicans in the north". Campbell urged the BBC to drop the policy, as it is a publicly-funded body. In the Irish Independent
Irish Independent
The Irish Independent is Ireland's largest-selling daily newspaper that is published in both compact and broadsheet formats. It is the flagship publication of Independent News & Media.-History:...

, it was claimed that "substantial amounts" of money (raised from selling poppies) is used "to build monuments to insane or inane generals or build old boys' clubs for the war elite".

However, some leading SDLP
Social Democratic and Labour Party
The Social Democratic and Labour Party is a social-democratic, Irish nationalist political party in Northern Ireland. Its basic party platform advocates Irish reunification, and the further devolution of powers while Northern Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom...

 politicians have recently endorsed wearing the poppy. On Remembrance Day 2010, Margaret Ritchie
Margaret Ritchie (politician)
Margaret Ritchie is an Irish politician from Northern Ireland. She was the leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party from 7 February 2010 to 5 November 2011 - being replaced in this role by Alasdair McDonnell - and served as the Minister for Social Development from 8 May 2007 until her...

 became the first leader of a nationalist party to wear a poppy.

Republic of Ireland

The RBL has a branch in the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 and holds a yearly poppy appeal there. It also holds a wreath-laying ceremony in July to coincide with the state's National Day of Commemoration
National Day of Commemoration
In the Republic of Ireland, the National Day of Commemoration commemorates all Irish men and women who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations. It occurs on the Sunday nearest July 11 , the anniversary of the date in 1921 that a truce was signed ending the Irish War of Independence...

. This ceremony is attended by the President of Ireland
President of Ireland
The President of Ireland is the head of state of Ireland. The President is usually directly elected by the people for seven years, and can be elected for a maximum of two terms. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office, but the President does exercise certain limited powers with absolute...

 and is held at St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. A small number of the Republic's citizens still enlist in the British Army, although it is banned from actively recruiting in the Republic under the Defence Act 1954.

United States

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the American Legion
American Legion
The American Legion is a mutual-aid organization of veterans of the United States armed forces chartered by the United States Congress. It was founded to benefit those veterans who served during a wartime period as defined by Congress...

 distributes crepe-paper poppies in exchange for contributions. "Poppy Day" is usually the same as or near Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

 in May. However, many Legion groups also make poppies available around 11 November.

White poppies

Some people choose to wear white poppies as a pacifist
Pacifism is the opposition to war and violence. The term "pacifism" was coined by the French peace campaignerÉmile Arnaud and adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress inGlasgow in 1901.- Definition :...

 alternative to the red poppy. The white poppy and white poppy wreaths were introduced by the UK's Co-operative Women's Guild in 1933. Today, white poppies are sold by Peace Pledge Union
Peace Pledge Union
The Peace Pledge Union is a British pacifist non-governmental organization. It is open to everyone who can sign the PPU pledge: "I renounce war, and am therefore determined not to support any kind of war...

 or may be home-made.

Purple poppies

To commemorate animal victims of war, Animal Aid
Animal Aid
Animal Aid, founded in 1977, is a British animal rights organisation. The group campaigns peacefully against all forms of animal abuse and promotes a cruelty-free lifestyle. It also investigates and exposes animal cruelty....

 in the UK has issued a purple poppy, which can be worn alongside the traditional red one, as a reminder that both humans and animals have been – and continue to be – victims of war.

Protests and controversy

At a Celtic
Celtic F.C.
Celtic Football Club is a Scottish football club based in the Parkhead area of Glasgow, which currently plays in the Scottish Premier League. The club was established in 1887, and played its first game in 1888. Celtic have won the Scottish League Championship on 42 occasions, most recently in the...

 v Aberdeen
Aberdeen F.C.
Aberdeen Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Aberdeen...

 football match in November 2010, it was decided that both teams would play with poppies sewn to their shirts. This was in response to an appeal by Haig Fund Scotland. A group of Celtic supports called the Green Brigade
Green Brigade
The Green Brigade is an ultras group consisting of fans of Celtic Football Club. The group, formed in 2006, describes itself as a "a broad front of anti-fascist, anti-racist and anti-sectarian Celtic supporters".-Background:...

 unfurled a large banner in protest. In a statement, it said: "Our group and many within the Celtic support do not recognise the British Armed Forces as heroes, nor their role in many conflicts as one worthy of our remembrance". It gave Operation Banner
Operation Banner
Operation Banner was the operational name for the British Armed Forces' operation in Northern Ireland from August 1969 to July 2007. It was initially deployed at the request of the Unionist government of Northern Ireland to support the Royal Ulster Constabulary . After the 1998 Belfast Agreement,...

 (Northern Ireland), the Afghanistan War
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 and the Iraq War as examples.

British Prime Minister David Cameron
David Cameron
David William Donald Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service and Leader of the Conservative Party. Cameron represents Witney as its Member of Parliament ....

 rejected a request from Chinese officials to remove his poppy during his visit to Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 on the 2010 Remembrance Day. The poppy was regarded as offensive because of its associations with the Anglo-Chinese Opium Wars
Opium Wars
The Opium Wars, also known as the Anglo-Chinese Wars, divided into the First Opium War from 1839 to 1842 and the Second Opium War from 1856 to 1860, were the climax of disputes over trade and diplomatic relations between China under the Qing Dynasty and the British Empire...

 in the 19th century, after which the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 was forced to tolerate the British opium trade in China and to cede Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 to the UK.

A 2010 Remembrance Day ceremony in London was disrupted by members of Muslims Against Crusades
Muslims Against Crusades
Muslims Against Crusades is a banned Islamic group in the United Kingdom. The group was founded in 2010 by Abu Assadullah. Professional boxer Anthony Small and Islam4UK spokesman Anjem Choudary are associated with the group....

, who were protesting against British Army actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. They burnt large poppies and chanted "British soldiers burn in hell" during the two-minute silence. Two of the men were arrested and charged for threatening behavior. One was convicted and ordered to pay a £50 fine. The same group planned to hold another protest in 2011 named Hell for Heroes, declaring that soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve to go to hell. The group was banned by the Home Secretary
Home Secretary
The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the Home Office of the United Kingdom, and one of the country's four Great Offices of State...

 on the previous day.

In November 2011 a number of people were arrested in Coleraine
Coleraine is a large town near the mouth of the River Bann in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is northwest of Belfast and east of Derry, both of which are linked by major roads and railway connections...

, Northern Ireland after a picture of two youths burning a poppy was posted on Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

. The picture was reported to the police by a member of the RBL.
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