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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!

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74 Responses to “Why Are British Celebs Donning Red Flower Pins?”

  1. 1
    Bee Says:

    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”..

  2. 2
    Zoe Says:

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

  3. 3
    susie Says:

    Oh Americans not knowing silly things like this!

    Or in Canada, “In Flanders Fields.”

  4. 4
    Natalie Says:

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

  5. 5
    em Says:

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

  6. 6
    true Says:

    How ignorant. Who didn’t know that.

  7. 7
    Ruth Says:

    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.

  8. 8
    Faye Says:

    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.

  9. 9
    Hell Naw Says:


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

  10. 10
    lylian Says:

    @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.

  11. 11
    Tom Cruising Says:

    @Hell Naw:

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

  12. 12
    marie Says:

    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.

  13. 13
    Jess Says:

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

  14. 14
    British Says:

    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…

  15. 15
    jenny Says:

    @Hell Naw: THANK YOU!!!!!

  16. 16
    bebe Says:

    “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.

  17. 17
    cindy lu Says:

    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

  18. 18
    Femail Says:

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

  19. 19
    Angie Says:

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

  20. 20
    jesse Says:

    Jared, sometimes you say the most embarrassing things!

  21. 21
    Wembley Says:

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

  22. 22
    Clare Says:

    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.

  23. 23
    Marianne Says:

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

  24. 24
    M Says:

    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.

  25. 25
    Aileen Says:

    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

  26. 26
    Rhee Says:

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

  27. 27
    danielle Says:


    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.

  28. 28
    anna Says:

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

  29. 29
    kb Says:

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

  30. 30
    DarkEmpress Says:


    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.

  31. 31
    You idiots Says:

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

  32. 32
    Celia Says:

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

  33. 33
    ana Says:

    @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.

  34. 34
    British Says:

    @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.

  35. 35
    mia Says:

    @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…..

  36. 36
    Natasha Says:

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

  37. 37
    Rainy Day Says:

    @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.

  38. 38
    UWBadgerGirl Says:

    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.

  39. 39
    Lisa Says:

    Total second-hand embrassment at JJ stupidity.

  40. 40
    Laura Says:


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

  41. 41
    Midlands Says:

    @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!

  42. 42
    Midlands Says:

    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

  43. 43
    to Femail Says:

    @ 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.

  44. 44
    Lindi Says:

    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.

  45. 45
    British Latin American Says:

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

  46. 46
    strokesmusic Says:

    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.

  47. 47
    F@me M0n$t3r Says:

    Ignorant Americans.

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

  48. 48
    Dog Says:

    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?!

  49. 49
    Sam Says:

    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.

  50. 50
    forgetMEnot Says:

    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.

  51. 51
    Proud! Says:

    OMG! I really can’t believe this is even on here, how ignorant, I swear Americans live in their own little bubble. I love this time of year in the UK it makes me feel incredibly proud of my nation and of all the soliders who have given their lives for our country. May they Rest in Peace.
    And also “Hell Naw”….F*** off and die! That is all

  52. 52
    Toodles Says:

    duh…know your history folks.

    and the whole “i don’t know why americans don’t do it” thing is silly too. it’s not a tradition here. big whoop.

  53. 53
    lipz Says:

    wow Americans are so narrow minded and dunce! I mean are you serious having to explain a poppie? Some people just need to educate themselves on other countries and cultures outside of the U.S. …So sad!

  54. 54
    Jokergurl Says:

    I saw Daniel Ratcliff, Colin Farrell had them on when they were on Graham Norton, but why didn’t Rihanna? Maybe her dress (poppy red) was a statement enough. Anyway I always look for people selling these poppies on Veterans Day, what ticked me off this year is I couldn’t find any! I always support the veterans of foreign wars, they make great sacrifices.

  55. 55
    rossy40 Says:

    I never gave a thought to “wearing poppies properly” (luckily I’ve ALWAYS worn mine on the left side), & if there’s an offensive way of doing it, I’ve never heard of it.
    I’ve seen people on the streets wear them on the right side without complaints from others; others wear 2 or 3. I know of people wearing them ONLY on the 11th.; while others wear them for the whole month of November & still others wear them ALL YEAR ROUND claiming: “One day out of the year to remember the fallen should not be the gratitude shown for the sacrifices made by our troops (regardless of country, which war, etc.) then, now & in the future.”
    Sounds good to me.

  56. 56
    Stacey Says:

    I’m absolutely shocked. How bloodly ignorant can Americans get? If this shows the intelligence of today’s Americans then God help us all. It’s just downright disrespectful that Americans do not know of a simple British tradition which has been around for almost a century. And as for ‘latest fashion accessory’ well what can I say, you’ve just said it all. Maybe more cultral and more informative history lessons for today’s generation in the US, let’s not have them all follow your lead Jared. I actually cringed reading this. Happy learning America!

  57. 57
    Deedz Says:

    Did this post really happen? You Americans shock me everyday.

  58. 58
    julie gardner Says:

    I actually cannot believe that this has even been written, let alone published, I’m disgusted actually and I never comment on things. You’re really helping with the fact that Americans are viewed as inward looking and ignorant when you can’t even think what Remembrance Day is. Perhaps if you focused less on utterly irrelevent celebrity rubbish, you might have a bit more integrity and respect.

  59. 59
    Stella Says:

    I don’t understand why it is such a big deal to some of you that this tradition isn’t well known in the US. It is not traditionaly a part of Veteran’s day here. Does every one in the UK know every single tradition from all other countries? When I studied in France a lot of people had no idea why I always tried to get the day off and call home on the last Thursday in November.

  60. 60
    Jenn79 Says:

    The comments on here are so harsh! Maybe because these are all internet postings people feel that they can be jerks. What’s embarrasing and ignorant is not that some Americans (not all) do not know the significance of the poppy – it’s all of the hateful comments that were posted.
    It reactions like the ones on these following pages are what keep people from asking questions and learn more about the world around them. I would rather have someone ask me what is the significance of July 4th, than have them walk around with the wrong information in their heads.
    Let’s all try to be kinder to one another.

  61. 61
    Jenn79 Says:

    I also wanted to add and clarify, the wearing of the red poppy on Veterans Day is common in the United States, its use may be more prominent in certain regions of the U.S. Americans also commonly wear a yellow ribbon pin on Veterans Day.
    The United States has a population of over 300 million people, from diverse ethnic, racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Each region of the U.S. has it’s own distinct culture, so many “American” holidays and traditions are not celebrated the same way throughout the country.

  62. 62
    A Says:

    I can’t believe this even needed to be explained…

  63. 63
    sam Says:

    hahaha silly americans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! learn something about other countries for once would you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! there is life outside of the USA

  64. 64
    British Latin American Says:

    @Jenn79: You make some valid points in your posts, especially about the insulting comments, but you are also trying to excuse American ignorance. Remembrance Day is a national holiday and should be celebrated all over the U.S., and all Americans should be aware of the reasons why.

  65. 65
    Jenn79 Says:

    Maybe you misread my post, but I cleary stated that Americans do wear the poppy pins and we know what it means and we do celebrate Veteran’s day. To assume that all Americans are unaware of the meaning of the poppy pin or assume that we don’t wear it, just because Jared published that post is what’s truly ignorant. It’s also ignorant to assume that everyone would know the meaning of the red poppy. Not everyone who reads this post is European or from English speaking countries, where the use of the poppy is common.

    If everyone who has read that post and commented – and Jared, would have done a little research on Veteran’s Day in the U.S., than you would have learnt that the poppy pin is used in the states.

  66. 66
    British Latin American Says:

    I did not misread your post; I know what you said. The way you were talking about different regions of vast America seemed like an excuse for American ignorance. And I never said all Americans were ignorant, just too many!

  67. 67
    chriss Says:

    Americans are so unaware of the rest of the world..
    like get out of your little bubble.

  68. 68
    bloody utterly bloody hell Says:

    What I find insulting and provencial are the banal repetitions of the same “Stupid, bloody Americans in their little bubbles” comments. Really, coming from those that are assuming their intelligence and world wide awarenss is so far superior to that of an average American, I would presume that another argument could be made….and with less triteness.

    Not trying to make a justification, but the “British” poppy is quite different from the American version. In America the Veterans Administration Volunteers hand out a frilly crepe paper poppy with a bright white or yellow embellished center. This is easily recognizable….yes, even by the most average and culturally naive American as the Memorial Day Poppy. The British version is very different, and therefore not recognized straight away as “The” poppy.

    But, what actually instigated my response here was the “bloody, utter” (as it appears you are all wont to say… nauseum) irony of your whole attack on Americans. It seems as though you all fancy yourselves to be American experts because you’ve had “classes” in primary school and have been exposed to our bloody tourists.

    The reality of the situation is this. I am from the most reviled state in our country….Arkansas. And therefore, would likely be assumed by those eschewing Americans, to be the very dregs of the barrel. But before I went to Mexico I learned Spanish fluently. Before I went to Italy, I learned Italian fluently. And when I started becoming friends with a man from Israel, I did fastidious research into his customs to avoid inadvertantly offending him.

    And before anyone takes the low road here, no….I am NOT the exception to the American rule. In fact, most of the people I know make concerted efforts to educate themselves on others, and to learn other cultures and histories.

    The irony is that I’m assuming NONE of you posting here have actually BEEN to America….therefore, your assumptions, assertions, and attacks on we “Utterly Bloody Ignorant Americans” is based on….what? Oh. That’s right…..non-empirical evidence. In a word, you’re guilty of what you accuse us of being. Ignorant and judgemental.

    Have fun at the Pudding Race.

  69. 69
    bloody utterly bloody hell Says:


    Did you really attempt to present yourself as intelligent AND use “like” as a pause word? YOU sound like a “stupid American”…or at least your assumption of what one would sound like.

    “Like, get out of your bubble..”

    Really? Reeeeeaaaaaly? If anything calls true wit or reason into question, it is the use of the word “Like” as anything than a precursor to a simile, or in reference to enjoying something.

  70. 70
    Dude Says:

    Guys…really? It’s not a tradition here in America to wear poppies, so how would we know? Well actually I knew what they were, and I bet a lot of others do too, but some just don’t. Deal with it. Some of us are different and don’t want to be “aware of the outside world” because some people are just not like that. We’re humans, right? I don’t know why they don’t, because I’m pretty fascinated by all different cultures, but hey, gotta live with it. You don’t have to be so rude about it. We have our traditions and you guys have yours…can we just all get along?! lol, Chill.

  71. 71
    Grad Student Says:

    Actually until I read this post I didn’t know what the red flower pins meant either. I think the Brits in this forum are more self-centered than the Americans and assume everyone should know about their customs. In fact, each side only knows what they see in the media so I think it’s great that we (in America) are asking about this and we want to know.

    By the way, Americans don’t wear these pins – we wear the flag – but I saw Boris Berezovsky wearing one and that is why I was interested.

  72. 72
    lal Says:

    Just because something is commonplace in the British Commonwealth countries, does not mean that it is commonplace in other countries. I think it is very rude of the people on here to label all Americans as ignorant because they don’t know the traditions of a country they do not live in. While it would be wonderful if every American had the opportunity to travel abroad, most people cannot afford that. Unlike the European countries where you can quickly and easily travel between countries, America does not have that luxury. That being said, my parents are immigrants to the U.S. and I did know that Remembrance Day coincides with the U.S. Veteran’s day and that the British use poppies to honor that day.

  73. 73
    teaj Says:

    jealous brits still obsessing over americans

  74. 74
    teaj Says:

    the british are like the ugly girl at school talking **** about the pretty americans who don’t even notice they exist.

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