As some of our long time readers know we are not enamoured of the Canadian Legion because of their policies regarding the poppy image. The Legion’s extreme control over the poppy has given them a bad name all over the country. Bloggers or other websites wishing to add a poppy to their posts on the few days surrounding Nov. 11 have received warning e-mails threatening legal action.
As a result we ( like some other bloggers) have resorted to using the British Poppy image instead. The Legion uses no judgement regarding which organizations or individuals to threaten with legal action. Businesses using the poppy image in advertising to enhance sales, or groups selling competing poppies might be one thing, non profit groups promoting values the Legion pretends to hold dear are another; the Legion does not distinguish between them. We heard recently that a NSCAD project aiming to make (in our humble view) valuable improvements in its design was similarly warned off. With no competition we will be forever stuck with the present faulty design. Although we do not agree with the ideology behind the group promoting the white poppy they have every right to do so. Let them compete in the market of ideas. We hope the Legion’s hope to restrict their use of the poppy image fails.
In our opinion the Legion has no more right of trademark over the poppy icon than we do. It has become an international symbol of war sacrifice, a symbol as generic as the symbol of a dove for peace. But as a result of their idiotic stance we no longer support the Legion and promote instead the War Amps organization which does valuable work with veterans and other amputees. Readers might be interested in the offerings on Cliff’s Corner, the blog of Cliff Chadderton, CEO of The War Amps..