Poppies go kitsch, sadly

Remembrance Day, a week from now on November 11, is a solemn and important date in Nova Scotia.  Military history and presence is deep here.  Lapel poppies spring onto everyone’s lapel even before the end of October; unlike the orangey crepe paper ones I remember from childhood, these are usually bright red and stiff.  Until this year, they seemed to be rather uniformly constructed of plastic flocked lightly with fuzz, a deep green center shining in the centre.

I’ve already seen two “innovations” this season, alongside staid tradition (who knew plastic could be considered tradition?!).  One is the peel-off sticker poppy, a kind of disposable for the shirt.  The other is scarier:  a woman I met on the escalator was wearing what I can describe only as a Happy Face Poppy Fabric Brooch scared my aesthteics as well as my sense of the purpose of the holiday.

And it’s early times.  There’s a week for more collisions to occur between symbol and form.


3 Responses to “Poppies go kitsch, sadly”

  1. sd Says:

    Have you seen the white poppy? These showed up in Cambridge around 2006, as a peacenik poppy…

  2. halifaxing Says:

    I haven’t seen these in North America–but sounds good!

  3. flandrumhill Says:

    I’ve seen a couple versions of the sticker ones on children’s jackets which is a good idea for young people who might otherwise not be able to wear one with a pin.

    I still miss the ones we had years ago with black AND green in the middle.

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