The white poppy campaign was started in Britain in 1933 by the Women’s Co-operative Guild as a “definite pledge to peace that war must not happen again”. This campaign has been continued over the years by the British Peace Pledge Union and peace activists all over the world.
The white poppy can be worn alone or with the red poppy. Many of the women in the Guild had lost husbands, brothers, sons and lovers in the First World War. The symbolism of the white poppy expands our consciousness to include all of the human casualties of war as well as the environmental devastation.
In modern warfare the majority of those killed are civilians. Forty-two million people are currently displaced from their homes and live as refugees because of war. Modern warfare poisons and destroys the environment, and its impact on climate change is catastrophic.
The global military produces enough greenhouse gases to bring about climate disaster, and those emissions produced abroad are not even reported under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In addition, war is very, very expensive.
Wearing the white poppy is a commitment to work for peace.