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Why Are British Celebs Donning Red Flower Pins?

Why Are British Celebs Donning Red Flower Pins?

They’re on the red carpets and worn by stars like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. So what exactly are those red pins?

Turns out they’re red poppies and not necessarily the latest fashion accessory!

Instead, it’s tradition to wear the pins to commemorate Remembrance Day (or Veterans Day as it’s known in the United States) in Britain, Canada, Australia, and other countries with ties to Queen Elizabeth.

Check out other celebs like Cheryl Cole, Ben Barnes, and J.K. Rowling proudly wearing the pins!

Just Jared on Facebook
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Credit: Dave Hogan, Stuart Wilson, Gareth Cattermole; Photos: Getty
Posted to: Ben Barnes, Cheryl Cole, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, JK Rowling, Rupert Grint

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  • Bee

    Surprise! Im british so i already knew that!! Haha and like these british celebs i wear mine proudly. Its from the poem “the roe of poppies”..

  • Zoe

    Remembrance Day is on November 11 to commemorate the end of WWI. I can’t believe Americans don’t recognize the poppy symbol.

  • susie

    Oh Americans not knowing silly things like this!

    Or in Canada, “In Flanders Fields.”

  • Natalie

    I thought Americans wore it too, I guess I learned something new today. Isn’t Emma wearing it on the wrong side though?

  • em

    I thought it was pretty obvious why they were wearing poppies. .

  • true

    How ignorant. Who didn’t know that.

  • Ruth

    It signals the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marks the signing of the Armistice, on 11th November 1918, the end of World War One. At 11 am on 11 November 1918 the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years continuous warfare.

    Armistance Day was renamed Remembrance Day at the end of WW2.

  • Faye

    It is also now used to remember not just those who gave their lives in the First World War, but every other conflict that has involved British, Canadian and Australian troops. All the more bittersweet in recent times as we are tragically losing troops in Afghanistan on a daily basis. Wearing a poppy simply shows your support and gratitude to those brave souls who risk (and lose) their lives so that we back home have a chance for a better future.

  • Hell Naw


    um, some of those “brave souls are/ were murderers and rapists fyi. it’s the truth. deal.

  • lylian

    @Hell Naw:
    War changes everyone into murderers and rapists and what have you. In order for an ordinary person to kill another ordinary person you must first be made to believe that your enemy is out to get you – you fan the paranoia within each of us, then you get the man to hate the person you think is threatening you. Then you make your enemy less than human. Your enemy is a rat, a cockroach, a monster or a weirdo – and all in all, to be exterminated.
    When it comes to rape, rape is about power. If you fan paranoia and hate and make your enemy less than human, then rape is about extermination, showing your disrespect of your enemy, showing that you have POWER over your enemy.
    Yet, these same men and women, when the war is over, or when they are weary of war, start to realise that their enemy is really just like them. Seeking peace, a chance to raise their family, a chance to have love and good things in life. I think they look back at their lives during the war and it must be like waking up from a nightmare, except the guilt or the self justification, never quite goes away.
    That’s why we all have to be careful who we choose as our leaders. We have to think for ourselves. We must ask ourselves, does this leader try to fan the hate of people different to ourselves – be the differences religious or sexual or gender based or race based?
    Be very careful of these leaders who do that. Think for yourself. Read, consider different arguments. And most of all, do not succumb to paranoia and hate.

  • Tom Cruising

    @Hell Naw:

    You utter moron. What an utterly inappropriate comment. Grow up.

  • marie

    Excuse me Bee, but that “the roe of poppies” thing is a compete nonsense!

    Even a french girl like me knows that the poem is “In Flanders Fields”, you should have known better as a brit.

  • Jess

    No shit. I can’t believe Americans know nothing about other countries and cultures.

  • British

    I find it shocking that their has to be a specific topic to inform people what the poppies symbolise. They’ve been worn at this time every year for a long long time.

    And yes, Emma Watson is wearing hers on the wrong side as its meant to be next to your heart but it’s not a big deal…those on X Factor were wearing them on their wrist! At least she is wearing one…

  • jenny

    @Hell Naw: THANK YOU!!!!!

  • bebe

    “Turns out they’re red poppies and not necessarily the latest fashion accessory”

    really jared. lmao cant believe anyone would have ever thought that. I’m surprise Americans don’t wear it they were part of that war.

  • cindy lu

    I’m surprised that Americans don’t do the poppy thing’ but I did see Robert Downey Jr wear one at Due date premiere somewhere

  • Femail

    Just because this blog does’nt know about the red poppies doesn’t mean the rest of America is clueless.

  • Angie

    Really JJ?
    I’m from PERU and I knew what the poppies meant

  • jesse

    Jared, sometimes you say the most embarrassing things!

  • Wembley

    @bebe: Well the US didn’t throw away a whole generation of men in that war.

  • Clare

    Wow, what a fantastically inappropriate comment! Thousands of young men sacrificed themselves for their country during 2 World Wars, including American soldiers, and thousands of men and women continue to do it today. You have a lot to thank them for.

  • Marianne

    Did you seriously have to ask about what those “red pins” are??

  • M

    I had no clue what those pins were before I read it somewhere yesterday – I think it’s perfectly alright for JJ to explain the poppies.

  • Aileen

    I can’t believe this actually got published!! British people know all about American customs and holidays and posts like this just make it seem like the whole of America is oblivious to ours. Also, jared, did you not notice people wearing poppies EVERY year for like the past 90 years?! Ignorance like this is shocking

  • Rhee

    Duh! I thought everyone knew they were for Remembrance Day.

  • danielle


    Inappropriate is right. The US lost between 115,000 and 126,000 during WWI. Maybe not a “WHOLE” generation of men like Russia and some other countries. But the South and North lost “whole” generations of men during the Civil War–about 625,000. And we lost 405,000 in WWII. And 58,000 in Vietnam. We’ve lost about 11,000 during our current ’causes.’

    And you know Wembley–numbers don’t mean a thing. When the reality of war really hits home is when one of those numbers is someone you know and love. The son of a good family friend died this week in Afghanistan. The grief is incalculable. A whole generation of this family is gone.

    And my dad fought and served in WWII so idiots like you and HELL NAW could have the freedom to make just such rude and insensitive comments.

  • anna

    I knew that..anyway, JK Rowling and Emma look great!

  • kb

    wow i think a lost a bit of respect for this site reading this post.

  • DarkEmpress


    There is no poem the roe of poppies. What are you talking about? Its called “In Flanders Fields” Doesnt anyone else notice that Emma Watson does not know how to wear her poppy although she is surrounded by ppl who have it on the left side. She is either stupid or thinks it is a fashion statement.

  • You idiots

    So you expect the whole world to know your lame traditions? How self- centered and eurocentric. Also, the poppies are hideous!

  • Celia

    This isn’t the first time the HP trio or anyone has worn these. I thought everyone knew what they were for.

  • ana

    @You idiots:

    i bet you wouldn’t be saying that if you actually had a grandparent or great-grandparent who sacrificed his life for the freedom you have today.

  • British

    @You idiots –

    Lame traditions? Wow. Some people need to grow a heart.

    I am proud of every single man and woman who put their life on the line for the benefit of future generations in our country.

  • mia

    @You idiots:

    Is it really eurocentric is the whole world knows about the tradition except for the U.S.? I see people posting here from other countries than those found in Europe that knew what the poppies were for…..

  • Natasha

    lmao. Americans, do you kinda feel Jared is insulting your intelligence a little? x

  • Rainy Day

    @You idiots:

    As an American and having traveled all over the world, it is idiotic of you to think that other countries have the hold on self-centeredness and euro/egocentricity. The rudest most self-centered, egocentric travelers I’ve met are Americans. They seem, like you, to think the entire world should bow down to them and immediately tend to their needs. They seem to think all other countries should speak English, serve American food, have American TV channels and radio channels, big gas guzzling cars, and generally make the country they are visiting into “little America.” How USAcentric is that?

    And to be fair, some of the most wonderfully adventurous travelers I’ve met have been Americans.

    You can’t generalize You Idiot.

  • UWBadgerGirl

    American’s wear poppies as well for Veteran’s Day. Maybe people here to not display them as much, but I always get a poppy from the veteran’s orgs who are selling them and put it in my car to remember all year. Not sure how anyone could not know that’s what they are for.

  • Lisa

    Total second-hand embrassment at JJ stupidity.

  • Laura


    It’s from a poem called “In Flanders Field”?

  • Midlands

    @You idiots: If it wasn’t for all the men and woman who have died fighting for their country, not just during WW1 & WW2 but other conflicts then you wouldnt even have the freedom to write such an idiotic piece of utter rubbish, because there would be no freedom of speech .

    Maybe you should study a little history , start with WW1 and work up to Hitler , The Holocaust and beyond before you sprout hate like you just have! Idiot!

  • Midlands

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields

  • to Femail

    @ 11/13/2010 at 7:44 am

    you really don’t want to talk about americans not be clueless considering your last election. also considering that americans think they, and they, alone won the war you are definitely clueless. in any case, it was nice of the cast to wear the poppies.

  • Lindi

    I’m actually shocked that Americans are unaware of a tradition that has been around for almost a century in many countries. I guess it’s just because im from canada and you see poppies like this all over the place and its considered common courtesy to wear one on your jacket for the month of november.

  • British Latin American

    I thought the reason for wearing poppies was common knowledge; but of course I’m ‘British’ and Latin American.

  • strokesmusic

    Basically, a lot of these comments are derived from ignorance. If you DIDN’T know about the tradition of wearing the poppies, it’s probably because you spend far too much time keeping yourself closed off from the rest of the world. Go experience something.

    And to the people who are calling my grandparents rapists and murderers well, shows how cowardly you are. Thousands of people died for your freedom and you still can’t appreciate that. Especially because as it’s WIDELY known, the American troops didn’t actually show up until the war was almost over.

  • F@me M0n$t3r

    Ignorant Americans.

    There, I said it.
    Most aren’t the sharpest tools in the box, eh? :D

  • Dog

    Poppies are noi just about remembering British soldiers, its soldiers from the entire former BRITISH EMPIRE. ALL THE COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD ONCE COLONIZED BY BRITAIN had soldiers who fought under the British Flag as part of the Empire. Here, in Canada (Memorial Day) day has always been marked by the wearing of poppies. I grew up in Jamaica, another former British colony and all my life I have worn poppies. Every Jamaican child studies Flanders Field in school aspart of the curriculum. So, let’s forget about poppies being Eurocentric. It’s a tradition of many countries around the world.

    JJ, we all went through this discussion 2 years ago when Brad and Angelina wore poppies on the Red Carpet in England for the premiere of Bewolf. ARe you going to pretend ifnorance of the poppy tradition every Memorial Day, just for the chance of filling blog space?!

  • Sam

    USA – durrrrrrrr! I’m sure some know what the Poppies are but most likely would not. It’s just plain old ignorance, which is what the ‘Good Old USA’ has always been. No offence, just truth. This is embarrassing.

  • forgetMEnot

    How can people be so stupid and ignorant?
    For your information, a poppy isn’t remotely an ‘fashion statement.’

    I’m British and we’ve been taught this when I was at school.

    AND Jared, there is more to the story than just wearing as a tradition for Remembrance Day.

    The poppies are to remember the ones we lost in the war but the poppy was also the first flower to grow after the war. The red is to symbolise the blood of the people who fought in the war.