Guest-blogger Sarah Bartey, Museum Assistant at The Peace Museum, tells the story of a unique object of remembrance held in their collection.
In our collection at The Peace Museum, we have many objects relating to remembrance, including a beautiful banner by Thalia Campbell a peace protester famous for her banners. The banner includes the words ‘Remembrance is not enough’, in big, bold, gold lettering, surrounded by red, white, green and purple poppies. The idea behind the banner was not to go against the idea of remembrance, but to suggest that so much more needed to be done to build long term peace and to prevent more people being killed in future conflicts. The banner was used as part of the ceremony for Remembrance Sunday in 1981 and was carried from the Cenotaph to Trafalgar Square and back, a significant event as it marked the first time the idea of peace and an end to war was included as part of the ceremony.
The different coloured poppies are interesting because they represent different ideas of remembrance, some more well-known than others. Of course the most well known is the red poppy, which is worn by millions each year as a symbol of remembrance for British armed forces personnel killed in conflict and wars. The symbol was first adopted after the devastating events of the First World War. The red poppy is featured heavily on the banner which suggests that the act of remembrance is still of great value and importance.
The white poppy, like the red poppy is meant as a symbol to remember those who have died in conflict; the difference is that it is for the remembrance of all peoples killed in conflicts, whatever their nationality, (including civilians). The white poppy does this while emphasising a lasting commitment to peace and a challenge to attempts to glamorise or celebrate war. It was first introduced by the Women’s Co-operative Guild in 1933 and is now sold by the Peace Pledge Union. The white poppy can be worn as an alternative to the red poppy or as seen in this banner alongside and complementing the red.
The purple poppy was only created very recently in 2006 to remember the animal victims of war. For a long time animals have been used as detectors, messengers, scouts and rescuers. Despite the wide use of animals in war fare, they are often overshadowed and forgotten. The purpose of the purple poppy is to remember the loss suffered by animals in warfare. All donations go to the charity Animal Aid, who said have that “Animals are not heroes, they are victims. They do not give their lives they are taken.”
There is also a single green poppy that is featured in the banner. This is different to the other poppies, as it is not part of any known campaign. However one assumption that could be made is that it is to represent the remembrance of the damage caused by war on nature and the environment.
Sarah Bartey is a Museum Assistant at The Peace Museum.
The banner can be viewed at The Peace Museum, Bradford. The museum is open every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10:00 – 16:00.
Entrance is FREE.
Address: The Peace Museum, 10 Piece Hall Yard, Bradford, BD1 1PJ.
Telephone: 01274 780241
This piece was originally posted on the The Peace Museum blog site on 17th November 2016. Thank you to the Peace Museum for sharing it with us.