Poppy distinction: How Scotland got its own remembrance symbol

The four-petal flower stands out from those sold in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Scotland: Our poppies have four petals and no leaf. PA

Remembrance Day marks the official end of the First World War.

On the 11th day at the 11th hour, armies across Europe lay down their arms.

The ending of this war has been marked every year since, honouring the fallen.

While there are many fundraising activities for veterans, none is so well known as the Poppy Appeal, which has become synonymous with November 11.

In 1915, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, of Canada, lost a friend in Ypres.

Poppies were dotted across the war-ravaged landscape, inspiring McCrae to write In Flanders Fields, which inspired the adoption of the poppy as a national symbol.


But did you know that there was a marked difference between poppies in Scotland and the rest of the UK?

While both flowers sport the same red hue, in Scotland we are familiar with the four-petal flower.

The rest of the UK has a poppy with two petals and a leaf. PA

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the poppy has just two petals and occasionally has a green leaf attached.

The reason for this is that up until June 2011, PoppyScotland was a separate charity and in charge of the Poppy Appeal north of the border.

Despite the merger, PoppyScotland still spends all of the money raised within the country.


Across the rest of the UK, the Royal British Legion took charge of the appeal, leading to different designs in the poppies.

Poppyscotland employs 40 veterans to make the poppies at Lady Haig's in Edinburgh.

Each year, they make around four million poppies with plastic stems, one million stick-on poppies, 10,000 wreaths and maintain around 25,000 collection tins.

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