We thought that wearing your poppy was pretty simple, but it turns out there's a special way you can wear your poppy to show your respect for those who died fighting in WWI and WW2.


Karen, a professor of sociology at the University of Sussex, was on her way to a meeting in London when her poppy fell off her coat.

Seeing a nearby poppy seller, she went over to him for a new pin.

‘I asked if I could just have a pin and went to pin my poppy back on my coat any-old-how,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

‘He stopped me and asked if he could re-position it and then asked if I had a few minutes as he wanted to tell me the story of that poppy.’

Advice on wearing your poppy, according to the veteran Karen encountered: 

We should wear their poppy on their right side; the red represents the blood of all those who gave their lives, the black represents the mourning of those who didn’t have their loved ones return home, and the green leaf represents the grass and crops growing and future prosperity after the war destroyed so much.

The leaf should be positioned at 11 o’clock to represent the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the time that World War One formally ended. He was worried that younger generations wouldn’t understand this and his generation wouldn’t be around for much longer to teach them.

‘I’m really pleased to have learnt some things today that I didn’t know before,’ she said. ‘Although I must admit I’ve spent a rather obsessive afternoon wanting to rearrange quite a few strangers’ poppies!’

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Here’s what Karen posted on Facebook, which was then shared over 328,000 times!


We’ll be adjusting ours accordingly from now on!