What does the purple poppy mean?

Last updated at 15:35
Four different colour poppies on a grey background.Getty Images
What do the different poppy colours mean?

11 November is Remembrance Day - a day to commemorate the First World War and the conflicts that followed it.

Many people choose to wear a red poppy around this time to pay respect to those who have lost their lives fighting on behalf of their country.

While the red poppy is the most well known symbol of remembrance, there are other coloured poppies too - white, black and purple - that have different meanings.

What does the purple poppy mean?

The purple poppy is often worn to remember animals that have been victims of war.

Animals like horses, dogs and pigeons were often drafted into the war effort, and those that wear the purple poppy feel their service should be seen as equal to that of human service.

In particular, many horses were killed or injured in World War One.

Purple PoppyGetty Images
Purple poppy: To remember animal victims of war
What does the black poppy mean?

The black poppy has two different meanings attached to it.

It is most commonly associated with the commemoration of black, African and Caribbean communities' contribution to the war effort - as servicemen and servicewomen, and as civilians.

The campaign organisers say that while they also support the red poppy, they feel that the black poppy highlights this contribution and the place of black, African and Caribbean communities in remembrance.

Black Poppy.Getty Images
Black poppy: Remembering African, black and Caribbean communities' contribution
What does the white poppy mean?

Some people feel that the red poppy glorifies war and conflict.

Instead they might choose to wear a white poppy.

The white poppy is handed out by a charity called Peace Pledge Union, which promotes peace.

They say that the white poppy commemorates people who died in conflict, but focuses on achieving peace and challenging the way we look at war.

White Poppy.Getty Images
White poppy: Remembers people who died in conflict with a focus on an end to war
What does the red poppy mean?

This is arguably the most famous symbol used to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives in World War One and conflicts that followed.

Wearing a poppy was inspired by the fields of poppies that grew where many of the battles were fought.

The red poppy is connected to the Royal British Legion - a charity created by veterans of World War One.

They say that the red poppy represents remembrance and hope.

Red PoppiesGetty Images
Red poppy: Memorial to World War One and following conflicts

What poppy do you wear? Or do you choose not to wear a poppy? Let us know.


  • View all (8)
  • Comment number 8. Posted by U17267045

    11 Nov 2018 14:30
    @ CuteFluffyNarwhal I wanna do the same
  • Comment number 7. Posted by U17267045

    11 Nov 2018 14:29
    I bought a red one from school
  • Comment number 6. Posted by BrownieQueen

    7 Nov 2018 18:18
    I picked white, even though I have to wear red for the service.
  • Comment number 5. Posted by CuteFluffyNarwhal

    4 Nov 2018 10:56
    I want to wear all of the different coloured poppies, as I think all of the meanings are important.
    I have only ever seen red poppies. My school are selling poppies at the end of the school day, and I am currently wearing a snap band that I got there.
  • Comment number 4. Posted by CommieTommie

    28 Oct 2018 13:27
    Doesn't the red poppy include what the black poppy stands for?

    [Edited by Moderator]
  • Comment number 3. Posted by turquoise teeny turtle

    26 Oct 2018 0:58
    Ooh didn’t know this so maybe we should wear one of all of them? It’s quite rare that you see colours sold other than red. I think that it’s important that we remember the lives of animals as well as people.

  • Comment number 2. Posted by galaxyspinningcat

    25 Oct 2018 21:03
    I'm wearing purple
  • Comment number 1. Posted by harrypotterhufflepuff

    25 Oct 2018 16:02
    Wow! Did not know the meanings of the last three!

    P.S: First Comment