|Red for peace, white for ............|
The red poppy is a symbol (as well as being a fund raising tool for disabled service men and women) of that sacrifice.
The link to the poppies of Flanders fields, almost as prolific as the German and Allied Forces corpses, is a poignant one that encourages us to remember with sorrow and gratitude.
It is not triumphalist, it does not represent war or victory or glorification of battlefield slaughter.
A kind reader commented on my Remembrance Sunday post, that he was not familiar with the white poppy campaign, one that, ostensibly symbolises peace rather than war.
This stance rather leads to a 'when did you stop beating your wife' situation as far as the red poppy wearer is concerned.
Those who wear the white poppy are, in my opinion, gravely deluded. They are ignorant.
We tend to link to opposites so, if the white poppy stands for peace, the red must stand for war.
To me the white poppy represents not peace but pacifism and, again, with our love of opposites, it is assumed that, if you are anti pacifism you must be a warmonger
Again, not so.
I have little time for war but, equally, little respect for those who advocate pacifism at the time of war.
Many Quakers have struggled with their consciences and then, God bless them, signed up for duties as medics, stretcher bearers, ambulance drivers. Tasks often more hazardous than those undertaken by the troops.
There is no hiding place for the conscientious objector when your own country goes to war.
We are all bound to get behind our respective governments at such times and bind together for the common good.
Few of us wanted the Iraq War but, once committed, we should have supported our leaders and, above all, our military.
That is why the symbolism of the white poppy brigade is iniquitous and those who wear one should hang their heads in shame.
Was it Belloc who penned the lines:
"Pale Ebenezer thought it wrong to fight, but Roaring Bill ( who killed him) thought it right"
That should be writ large on the headstones of those who spurn the red for the white.