As we approach Poppy Day and all the kerfuffle that inevitably accompanies it, just what are the rules about wearing Poppies?
Here’s your at-a-glance, cut-out-and-pin-to-your-lapel guide.
Q When should you start wearing your Poppy?
A You’d think a reasonable answer would be ‘when they go on sale.’ But some people seem to get hold of theirs before that, so maybe there are places that sell them all year round. You can buy fireworks in February, so why not Poppies in May? Although actually wearing it in May might look a bit odd. Basically, there are no rules. Go with your instinct.
Q You HAVE to wear one though, don’t you?
A No. It’s entirely up to you. You can respect Britain’s war dead without signalling it to everyone. And you can plonk money in the tin without choosing to fiddle with the pin and Poppy part. Again, no rules.
Q Why the capital P for Poppy?
A You’re right. It doesn’t need one.
Q Should you wear it on the left or the right?
A Yes. Either side is acceptable. Anywhere, really. I have mine on my backpack. That’s because I wear my backpack every day, rather than on a jacket that I might wear one day before swapping for a raincoat the next. There are no rules about where you should wear it.
Q The leaf on the poppy should point to 11 o’clock, right?
A No. It can point up, down, left or right. It doesn’t matter and there’s no rule.
Q The poppy is a highly visible example of wasteful, single-use plastic, isn’t it?
A Yes, but don’t expect the Daily Mail to point this out in their anti-plastic campaign.
Q Will wearing an expensive poppy made from shiny enamel show that I care more deeply about our glorious dead?
A Possibly. The other interpretation is that you bought one of them years ago and now wear it year after year without donating another penny, you heartless cheapskate.