A CLOTHING COMPANY has been accused of insulting the dead by selling T-shirts and hoodies depicting a red remembrance poppy as a gunshot wound in the chest.

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), known for producing white poppies to remember all victims of war, urged the company Force Wear to recognise that the image cheapens remembrance and insults victims of real gunshot wounds.

The PPU also encouraged the Royal British Legion, producers of red poppies, to disassociate themselves from the gunshot wound T-shirts and hoodies. The items are described as ‘Chest Wound Poppy’ on Force Wear’s website, which says: “15 per cent of Profit from the sale of this design (and all other items in our Remembrance Category) will be donated directly to the Royal British Legion on your behalf.”

Geoff Tibbs, Remembrance Project Manager at the Peace Pledge Union, said: “Far from respecting the dead, these images trivialise the horrors of war and insult gunshot victims. This is an obscene example of everyday militarism. It is what happens when remembrance becomes a celebration of militarism rather than a chance to reflect on the suffering caused by war and to learn from the past.

“Remembering people killed in war, whether forces personnel or civilians, should lead us to work for peace, not to glorify militarism”, he added.

This year’s white poppy campaign is launched today (Monday 25 October). White poppies represent remembrance for all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a rejection of militarism or attempts to glamourise war. They were introduced by the Women’s Co-operative Guild in 1933, and are now distributed by the Peace Pledge Union.

Money raised through white poppy sales goes towards promoting nonviolent approaches to conflict, and producing educational materials. Many white poppy wearers also donate to charities supporting veterans or other victims of war.

* Source: Peace Pledge Union