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Letter to the Editor: Poppy Trademark

Dec 13, 2016
The use of the Poppy originated from LCol John McCrae’s poem and can be traced back to July 5th, 1921 when the Great War Veterans’ Association in Canada and its successor, The Royal Canadian Legion, officially adopted the Poppy as its Symbol of Remembrance.

On June 30th 1948, the relationship between the Poppy and the Legion was further entrenched through an Act of Parliament which granted the Legion a trademark copyright of the Poppy symbol in Canada. This trademark extends to the Poppy symbol in any colour or configuration when used as a symbol of Remembrance.

This vital responsibility was bestowed upon the Legion to ensure that Canada’s largest Veterans organization could act in preserving the Poppy as a sacred symbol of the Remembrance of our Veterans. In doing so, the Legion accepted the obligation to ensure that the Poppy would never be used for commercial or personal gain or would never be desecrated through inappropriate use.

For more than 95 years, the Legion has found it necessary, from time to time, to advise individuals and commercial entities that their specific use of the Poppy image may diminish the protected trademark of the Poppy or lead to the impression of confusingly similar trademarks being registered by others. Most Canadians understand that commercializing or politicizing the Poppy as the Symbol of Remembrance comes at the expense of generating awareness and appreciation of the sacrifices made and the donations raised to help Canada’s Veterans in need.

That said, the Legion has granted permission to many organizations and companies to use the Poppy symbol for various initiatives that bring focus to Remembrance. Anyone wishing to use the Poppy symbol is welcome to contact The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command.

Lest we forget.

Dave Flannigan
Dominion President
The Royal Canadian Legion