CLAIM

The Royal British Legion won't be selling Remembrance Day poppies in "certain areas" this year because they offend some minorities. See Example( s )

EXAMPLES
Collected via e-mail, September 2016

Some really shocking news. The Royal British Legion are not selling poppies in certain areas on Nov 11 this year. This is because some minorities say that it will upset them. I say sod off ... The poppy is a symbol of reverence for our fallen heroes of all the wars the BRITISH military have fought in. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN BRITAIN! BRITISH CITIZENS STAND UP AND SAY 'WE WANT THE POPPY SOLD EVERY WHERE IN THE UK'. THIS IS OUR RIGHT TO REVERE OUR FALLEN.. PLEASE RE-POST

RATING

ORIGIN

In September 2016 the above-reproduced rumor began circulating on Facebook, asserting that the Royal British Legion would not be selling Remembrance Day poppies in “certain areas” because minority groups find the symbolic flowers offensive. 

The rumor puzzlingly appeared from the ether, absent links or even a shaky backstory explaining why the Royal British Legion might limit their sale of poppies in unspecified “certain areas.” No articles were referenced demonstrating that any minority groups found the poppy “offensive” or had demanded a limit to the sale of such flowers on Remembrance Day (observed each 11 November in the Commonwealth of Nations to honor soldiers who died in the line of duty). No portion of the rumor provided any details of whom the demand was supposedly made by, or why, Moreover, there is no intuitive reason to imagine any group of “minorities” might find a Remembrance Day poppy offensive for any obvious reason. 

Nonetheless, the claim spread like wildfire on social media, along with a measure of outrage at the imagined poppy ban enforcers. In a 27 September 2016 Facebook post, the Royal British Legion denied the claim had any truth to it:

Thanks for alerting us to a message you’ve seen on Facebook, which states the poppy is not being offered in certain areas of the country.

This is untrue. We have always offered the poppy in every community in the UK and we will continue to do so.

We would like you to know that the Poppy is universally respected as the symbol of Remembrance and hope. It is offered to, and worn by, all communities in Britain. The money raised by the Poppy Appeal supports all members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

We value your support.

The rumor about offensive poppies was very much like popular falsehoods in England and in the United States holding unspecified groups took offense to a vast variety of patriotic items or gestures. A few months prior to the poppy rumor, a similarly baseless claim held that police were raiding pubs to enforce a ban on England football jerseys. Iterations frequently pegged Muslims as the culprits behind the imaginary bans, with purportedly offensive items or concepts including American flags, pork in Europe, pork in Canada, bathing suits at water parks, the Statue of Liberty, and Halloween. Separate rumors maintained Cracker Barrel, Yosemite Sam, chalk writing, Captain America, and the Charlie Brown Christmas special were victims of general “political correctness.”

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