On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11 month, 1918 the armistice was signed that would end world war one.
Since then it has been commemorated to the hour. In Britain, it is marked as Remembrance Sunday. The country holds two minutes silence. One for those who’ve died. One for those who’ve been left behind.
Wreaths of red poppies are laid, by the Queen and senior royals. Then by the prime minister, and senior politicians. Poignant that the rest of the Royal Family watch from the Foreign Office.
In the weeks running up to Remembrance Sunday you will see these red poppies everywhere. Everyone on TV will be wearing one, and many ordinary citizens.
They’ve been used since 1920 to commemorate British soldiers killed on duty. But over the years, there’s been a small – but steadily growing – alternative. The white poppy. The poppy for peace.
Every year the peace pledge union holds their own minutes silence – for all victims of war. And lays their own wreath. Not of red – but of white.
Journalist Assed Baig’s great uncle was killed in world war one fighting for the British. He doesn’t wear a poppy.
Assed is one of a growing number of people who say the poppy has become a nationalistic and patriotic symbol, used a tool to promote current wars.
It is for this reason that a growing number of people are rejecting the idea of remembrance Sunday and what the red poppy has come to stand for. Less about peace, and more about the reinforcement of war.