The Poppy

To honour and remember.

The Poppy is a powerful symbol of Remembrance.

From the last Friday in October to Remembrance Day, millions of Canadians wear a Poppy as a visual pledge to never forget those who served and sacrificed. The red flower also is the symbol of the Legion's Poppy Campaign, raising funds to support Veterans and their families in need. We invite everyone across the country to show their recognition by proudly wearing this symbol of Remembrance.



The torch; be yours to hold it high.

"In Flanders Fields" is a poem written during the First World War by Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae after he presided
over the funeral of a friend and fellow soldier. So many years later, his poem continues to poignantly express the tragedy of the
losses of war. So many years later, his poem continues to poignantly express the tragedy of the losses of war, and the importance of carrying on their memories.


In Flanders Fields
by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae

May 3, 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

(As published in Punch Magazine, December 8, 1915)



Wear a Poppy to honour and remember Canada's Veterans.


How to wear your Poppy

The Legion’s lapel Poppy is a sacred symbol of Remembrance and should not be affixed with a pin that obstructs the Poppy. The Poppy should be worn on the left side, over the heart.

When to wear your Poppy

The lapel Poppy should be worn during the Remembrance period, from the last Friday in October until November 11. The Legion encourages the wearing of Poppies at funerals of Veterans, and for any commemorative event such as a memorial service, or the anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

How to remove a Poppy

When a Poppy is removed, it should be stored appropriately, or disposed of respectfully. We encourage anyone who finds a Poppy that has fallen to the ground to pick it up, brush it off, wear it or dispose of it with respect.



The Poppy Campaign

Every year, The Royal Canadian Legion conducts the Poppy Campaign, along with thousands of our members who volunteer from coast to coast to coast, to raise funds in support of Veterans and their families. Poppies are distributed freely, but your generous donations are invaluable and welcome. Learn more about how your donations help Veterans



The History of the Poppy.


Napoleonic Wars

The significance of the Poppy can be traced back to the Napoleonic Wars in the 19th century, over 110 years before being adopted in Canada. Records from that time indicate that thick Poppies grew over the graves of soldiers in Flanders, France. Fields that had been barren before battle exploded with the blood-red flowers after the fighting ended.

First World War

The person who first introduced the Poppy to Canada and the Commonwealth was Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae of Guelph, Ontario, a Canadian Medical Officer during the First World War. John McCrae penned the Poem “In Flanders Fields” on a scrap of paper in May 1915 on the day following the death of a fellow soldier. Little did he know then that those 13 lines would become enshrined in the hearts and minds of all who would wear them. McCrae’s poem was published in Punch Magazine in December of that same year.




The idea for the Remembrance Poppy was imagined by Madame Anna Guérin of France. She was inspired by John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields.” Anna had originally founded a charity to help rebuild regions of France after the First World War, and created poppies made of fabric to raise funds. Later, Anna presented her concept to France’s allies, including the precursor to The Royal Canadian Legion, The Great War Veterans Association. The idea was considered at a meeting in Port Arthur, Ontario (now Thunder Bay) and was adopted on July 6, 1921.


The Poppy is worn each year during the Remembrance period to honour Canada's Fallen. The Legion also encourages the wearing of a Poppy for the funeral of a Veteran and for any commemorative event honouring Fallen Veterans. Thanks to the millions of Canadians who wear the Legion’s lapel Poppy each November, the little red flower has never died, and the memories of those who fell in battle remain strong.



The Poppy trademark.


Since 1921, the Poppy has stood as a national symbol of Remembrance. The Poppy is also the recognized symbol for the Legion’s Poppy Campaign, which raises funds to support Veterans and their dependents. Through the trademark, the Legion ensures that the Remembrance Poppy is not used to commercialize, politicize, or dishonour those who served or to misrepresent the Poppy Campaign and the donations it raises.