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Why we musn’t forget the origins of the Rememberance Day poppy

The poppy hasn’t been suddenly “co-opted”—it’s always been partially about class and empire

By Adam Ramsay  

Poppies adorn Big Ben at the Houses of Parliament. Photo: PA

For some, it began when the British Legion accepted sponsorship from BAE Systems in 2002. Or pehaps, when a poppy was painted on the side of an RAF Tornado. For others, it was the sense that the symbology was being used to silence criticism of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It has,” tweeted second world war RAF veteran Harry Lesley Smith in 2014, “been co-opted.”

For others, it’s a moved from a quiet sign of Remembrance to an icon of Brexit…

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