Why are they wearing a red flower at the COP27?

Suzy Elgeneidy , Saturday 12 Nov 2022

At the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, you may notice some people wearing a red flower in the buttonhole of their suit or on their dresses and wonder what the significance of such a symbol is.

Red Flower


Perhaps it is a symbol linked to climate change.

For example, it may symbolise a return to nature or a rose on the verge of extinction due to climate change.

The truth, however, is completely different.

So what is the secret behind the red flower?

The red flower is an artificial poppy worn by the British delegation to commemorate their military personnel who have died in war.

It is traditional for Commonwealth citizens and officials alike to wear the poppy each year from late October through 11 November – Remembrance Day – which marks the signing of the armistice ending WWI.

Remembrance poppies are produced by veterans' associations, who exchange the poppies for charitable donations used to give financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the armed forces.

Inspired by the war poem titled "In Flanders Fields," and promoted by American humanitarian Moina Michael, they were first used near the end of World War I to commemorate British Empire and United States military casualties of the war.

Madame Guérin established the first Poppy Days to raise funds for veterans, widows, orphans, liberty bonds, and charities such as the Red Cross

The red remembrance poppy has inspired the design of several other commemorative poppies that observe different aspects of war and peace

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