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Buddy Poppies

This weekend we have volunteers from the Post, Men’s Auxiliary and Ladies Auxiliary out in the community offering Buddy Poppies.

The VFW conducted its first poppy distribution before Memorial Day in 1922, becoming the first veterans’ organization to organize a nationwide distribution. The poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

It was during the 1923 encampment that the VFW decided that VFW Buddy Poppies be assembled by disabled and needy veterans who would be paid for their work to provide them with some form of financial assistance. The plan was formally adopted during the VFW’s 1923 encampment. The next year, disabled veterans at the Buddy Poppy factory in Pittsburgh assembled VFW Buddy Poppies. The designation “Buddy Poppy” was adopted at that time.

In February 1924, the VFW registered the name “Buddy Poppy” with the U.S. Patent Office. A certificate was issued on May 20, 1924, granting the VFW all trademark rights in the name of Buddy under the classification of artificial flowers. The VFW has made that trademark a guarantee that all poppies bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. No other organization, firm or individual can legally use the name “Buddy” Poppy.

Today, VFW Buddy Poppies are still assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals.

The minimal assessment (cost of Buddy Poppies) to VFW units provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation’s veterans.


by John McCrae 

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead.
Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw,
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us, who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders Fields.



3 thoughts on “Buddy Poppies”

  1. WHERE are the Buddy Poppies being offered? I am an educator, and I was teaching my Kindergartners in conjunction with Memorial Day about Buddy Poppies. I remember seeing them being offered when I was a child, but that was many, many years ago and I did not know what they were for. I asked my 91-year-old dad if he remembered ever seeing them anywhere, and he didn’t know what they were (and he is a WW2 vet!). I would like to get enough of them to give my kids. It might not be in time for Memorial Day, but they can wear them in six months for Veteran’s Day. Where can I find them? I live in SW Portland. Thanks very much.

  2. Francine, many cities have VFW Posts, and on Memorial Day weekend and Veteran’s Day weekend we are out in the community at stores like: Haggen, Fred Meyer, Safeway, Albertson, etc. How many Buddy Poppies would you like? We’ll send some to your school. Thanks for asking.

  3. I actually would like to have one to wear tomorrow and also on Tuesday when I see the children again. So I am interested in where I could pick up a couple tomorrow. I live near two Fred Meyer stores and a Safeway; I have never seen them offered there. I go to Riverview Cemetery and Portland Memorial every year on Memorial Day, and I have never seen them there, either. Do you know a specific location where I can pick up a couple to have on Tuesday? The children made a Buddy Poppy window hanger craft last Thursday that I designed, so they do have something to display this weekend.

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