This is a case of copyright gone wild. The Peace Pledge Union based in the UK sell white poppies to citizens around the world who wish to show their abhorance and refusal to support war for any purpose. You can read more back story about the white poppies and red poppies for that matter at Remembrance Day Activities in Vancouver.
But the Canadian Legion decided it owned the rights to sell poppies of any kind or colour and threathened the peaceniks with legal action. However, they aren’t giving up and surrendering to the bully who is claiming an absurd trademark right though a Canadian supplier has been forced to stop selling the wee plastic mementos.
Here’s Peace Pledge’s quick overview:
Last year The Royal Canadian Legion through it legal representative demanded that Canadian groups stop distribution them and that the PPU stop making white poppies available in Canada, or else. That was the gist, though expressed in more formal language. According to the RCL’s legal representatives, the white poppy infringes the Legion’s poppy trademark. The PPU replied at length; our central point was that we disagreed with their argument. We have not heard from them since but the Canadian shop at the centre of this complaint regrettably had to acquiesce. You can read more about this at http://tinyurl.com/2mc7pq where you can also find out about the white poppy project and the PPU.
Following the legal threats both the promoters in Canada and Canadians who bought the poppy from us hoped that white poppies would again be available in Canada this year.
White poppies in any quantity are available from us for dispatch anywhere in the world including Canada.
In case you missed it, i recorded a spoken word podcast series based around the White Poppies i received last year and my brother’s involvement in the conflict in Iraq (now home safe – wish i could say the same for the rest). Still one more episode to go – trying to get it all done in less than a year ;-).
You can also subscribe to Postcards from Gravelly Beach in iTunes.
Be sure to order white poppies early (shipped across the Atlantic) and read the loquacious discourse on this most critical of topics. Make no mistake, the way to honour ultimate sacrifice is to ensure no such future bloodshed is required from man’s inability to get along. And we (all of us) have a right to respect the fallen in a manner which suits our conscience and not a method prescribed by the Legion or anyone else.
“The power of the white poppy lies in its questioning of the dominant – and fundamentally dishonest – view of war. More than that, it carries the hopes and demands of the mothers, wives, daughters and girlfriends of the men who for whatever reason and in whatever way were diminished by their participation in war. Their hope was that we would find less brutal social institutions to solve problems and resolve conflict. It remains for us to fulfill the wish.”