FAQ 22: Why did you urge people not to wear red poppies for Remembrance Day?

FAQ 22: Why did you urge people not to wear red poppies for Remembrance Day?

We didn’t.

We questioned the symbolism of Remembrance as being primarily concerned with military solutions, and we suggested that churches should make white poppies available alongside red ones.

We argued that honouring those who have died in war and those working for non-violent alternatives belong together, and that the central Christian story is about how God absorbs rather than inflicts death in the Cross of Christ.

We affirmed the idea that peacemaking without force of arms is a key vocation for followers of Jesus.

Two newspapers, The Times and The Express, suggested that Ekklesia wanted to get rid of red poppies. They declined to print corrections, and this angle was picked up by other media outlets who did not check our original press statement.

In spite of the expected abuse, we had positive feedback from many quarters (including the family of a soldier killed in Iraq) and a positive exchange with the British Legion, who acknowledged that wearing a white poppy was no act of disrespect.

A growing minority, including Ekklesia’ co-directors, choose to wear both white and red poppies.

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