West Brom UK footballer James McClean refused to wear a poppy during a match on Saturday, sparking a debate over whether figures in the public eye should have to wear the commemorative flower.
McClean, who has received death threats in the past for shunning the red symbol, said he will not wear a poppy on his shirt during his next match this weekend either.
His actions follow actress Sienna Miller’s controversial decision not to wear a red poppy during an appearance on the BBC’s The Graham Norton Show on Friday.
Celebrities, presenters and even guests tend to incur the wrath of angry viewers if they appear without the red commemorative flower. People are free to wear a poppy or not. What I do think is hypocritical though, is people who walk in public without one, but make sure they wear one on screen, just so they look like they’re ‘doing the right thing’. My father, a Branch 99 Legion member saw active service in WW2 and refused point blank to wear a poppy in later years. That, he said, what was he fought for, the right to choose. Actually, I figured out the real reason years later- he just kept losing it.
I choose to wear a remembrance poppy to signify my recognition for the contribution of our veterans because this is how I naturally feel according to my beliefs and values. But, I fully accept the prerogative of those whose reasoned beliefs leads them to a different conclusion and to elect to not wear a poppy. This is the nature of liberal pluralism – respect for diverse reasonably-grounded, sincerely-held views. They fought for our right to be able to choose, and for that I am eternally grateful.
“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example”- Benjamin Disraeli
How do you keep from losing it before Nov. 11?
Here are some tips and tricks for keeping that symbol of remembrance safely fastened above your heart:
1. Borrow a backing. Grab the backing from another pin or even an earring to keep the poppy from slipping off your chest.
2. Erasers. Not just for pencils, an eraser (or at least a piece of one) can be used to hold the pin in place by using it as an improvised backing.
3. Bend it. Stick your poppy in your piece of clothing, then bend the pin up towards the centre of the poppy. Be careful when attempting this!
4. Stick it. Use some adhering elements like strong tape or, if you are so inclined, some gently used gum to hold the pin inside the piece of clothing.
5. Grab a few extra. Toss some extra money in the Royal Canadian Legion collection box and have a few spare poppies with you, just in case. Plus, if the tips above work for you, you can always hand over one of your extras to someone who’s found themselves without one