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Poppies

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A.Cowan
1346767.  Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:38 pm Reply with quote

I finally got around to watching the procrastination episode - Series P episode 12 XL, and I absolutely loved it.

However I have a bit of a quibble, as at around 40 minutes in, it was said that Moina Belle Michael conceived of the idea to use the poppy as a symbol of remembrance for WWI.

Though this is (mostly) factually correct - as she did conceive of the memorial poppy - she did not conceive of the idea to use the poppy as a WWI symbol and how it is portrayed in this episode makes it seem like she made this decision based on the Napoleonic Wars.

Actually, the poem 'In Flanders Fields' had been written and published in 1915, describing the poppies and by 1917 had become well known across North America and was already being used to further the war effort and raise money for the troops. (https://www.britannica.com/topic/In-Flanders-Fields)

In her autobiography, Moina describes this poem and it's author (Canadian officer, surgeon and author John McCrae) as being her inspiration for creating the memorial poppy in 1918. The poppy was however already being used as an unofficial symbol for the war by this point. (http://www.greatwar.co.uk/people/moina-belle-michael.htm)

Like I said, a small quibble, but it urked me a bit to see all the credit regarding the use of the poppy as a WWI symbol go to the US, when it was started by a Canadian solider and war doctor. Without John McCrae, the poppy wouldn't be a symbol, and without Moina Belle Michael, people wouldn't buy and wear the symbol in memoriam. These two fantastic historical figures deserve equal credit here.

Thanks for listening to my rant. My brain wouldn't let me continue my QI binge in peace until I said something so I found this website and made an account. It might just be that I am procrastinating on my language studies by researching modern history for a rant in the QI forums, but here I am. Cheers.

 
Awitt
1346768.  Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:37 pm Reply with quote

Welcome!

 
Jenny
1346836.  Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:06 pm Reply with quote

We love both rants and quibbles, so welcome to the forums :-)

 
Celebaelin
1346849.  Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:59 pm Reply with quote

Hi.

I'm interested in war stuff generally speaking so I'd like to hear some more specific stuff from you.

I'm confused by your references to the Napoleonic Wars but at a guess that's something that is generally confusing to the both of us.

 
A.Cowan
1346936.  Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:41 pm Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
Hi.

I'm interested in war stuff generally speaking so I'd like to hear some more specific stuff from you.

I'm confused by your references to the Napoleonic Wars but at a guess that's something that is generally confusing to the both of us.


The QI procrastination episode said that the poppy was first a symbol of the Napoleonic Wars which were also once known as the great war, which I didn't know. (I may be misquoting that fact, I'd have to rewatch). I don't know much about the Napoleonic Wars at all so I found it really interesting. The part I had a quibble with was the fact branching off of the Napoleonic Wars fact reguarding how the poppy later became connected with WWI.

Also, hi! I'm new to forums in general so I'm quite surprised about the quick responses from everyone. I'm glad my rant has sparked some interest here.


Last edited by A.Cowan on Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:45 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
A.Cowan
1346937.  Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:42 pm Reply with quote

Thanks for the warm welcomes everyone :)

 

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