Surrounding the date of Remembrance Day, another controversy popped up on Twitter. A screenshot of a glittery, rainbow poppy being sold on eBay caused outrage amongst people, arguing that LGBTQ+ people were trying to hijack Remembrance Day. There were multiple dividing opinions, with people stating that many LGBTQ+ people would have died in the war so why couldn’t they get some recognition? Others claimed that it was political correctness gone wrong, and the symbol should not have been made to be about gender identity or sexuality.
However, it is important to point out that in the eBay listing, there was no mention of the rainbow representing LGBTQ+ people, it was simply labelled ‘rainbow glittery poppy style badge’. People seemed to get upset at the thought that LGBTQ+ people would have a voice and representation around Remembrance Day. The general rhetoric on Twitter that saw no issue with the poppy pointed out that homosexuality was criminal and socially unacceptable during the war, and thousands of soldiers would have lost their lives hiding their true sexuality or identity. Another person mentioned was Alan Turing, who played a vital role in defeating the enemy World War Two and was homosexual.
Even if this rainbow poppy was to represent LGBTQ+ people in the war, I personally see no issue with it when there are lots of different versions of the poppy, not just the red one. There are white, black, purple; you can even buy poppies conjoined with football team logos on the British Legion website. You cannot be prejudice to one version of the poppy and not the others. If you are going to argue that a rainbow poppy is taking away from the essence of what the poppy represents, then all the other versions do too. Accepting the red poppy conjoined with Everton Football team but not a rainbow poppy representing LGBTQ+ is prejudice towards the latter group of people.
Alternatively, I have an overarching opinion that this whole drama alludes to the commercialisation of Remembrance Day. People tend to get caught up with symbolism and forget what it’s epitomising. The argument over the rainbow poppy is so juvenile and insinuates how far removed we have become from remembering. However, if the money is going to charity, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with wearing the representation that you feel most comfortable with, whether that be red, white, black, purple or rainbow.