It’s an annual controversy: how to mark Remembrance Sunday. White poppies continue to provoke passionate feelings. Last year, Piers Morgan denounced white poppy wearers on live television. The year before, Colonel Richard Kemp accused white poppy campaigners of ‘indoctrinating children’.
Controversy over Remembrance is nothing new. The first disputes about how to mark 11th November were in 1919, and they have resurfaced almost every year since then. White poppies, first produced in 1933, are now distributed by the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) to signify remembrance for all victims of war, commitment to peace and rejection of militarism.
Symon Hill, who works for the PPU, will suggest that remembrance is inevitably controversial because what we remember is so linked with what we value. He will link today’s poppy controversies with disputes about both world wars and explain why he still believes that remembrance matters.