The Peace Pledge Union, the pacifist group that produces white poppies, have made Welsh-language poppies available to order online for the first time.
The Peace Pledge Union is offering white poppies with the word ‘Hedd’ in the middle rather than ‘Peace’. They are sent out along with Welsh-language leaflets.
They have previously made small numbers of Welsh-language poppies available to Welsh peace groups, but this is the first time that they are selling them directly or sending out publicity material in Welsh.
The Peace Pledge Union said that they made the decision in response to requests from Welsh-speaking white poppy wearers.
Members in Wales said that they are proud of Wales’ strong history of peace activism, at times overlapping with campaigns of active nonviolence to promote the rights of Welsh speakers.
“Being able to speak your own language is a human right,” Peace Pledge Union activist Tomos Williams-Mason, 18, said.
“I think the importance of Welsh-medium white poppies lies in the fact that human rights are not only linked to Remembrance Day, but are upheld in the work for peace.”
White poppies have been worn in the run-up to Remembrance Day since 1933 as an alternative to red poppies. The Peace Pledge Union said that they have three meanings:
- Remembrance for all victims of war, both civilian and military, of all nationalities.
- A commitment to peace.
- A rejection of militarism and any attempt to celebrate war.
The Peace Pledge Union is this year calling for a greater focus on current wars on Remembrance Day, including the war in Yemen. They are using the slogan “Remember Yemen”, or for Welsh speakers, “Cofiwch Yemen”.
Pryderi Llwyd Jones, a white poppy-wearer in Gwynedd, said: “Wearing both poppies is not only an opportunity to draw attention to the significance of both but also to explain the rich meaning of both ‘hedd’ and ‘peace’, historically and culturally, but also how both words bring out, in different ways, the rich meaning of ‘shalom’ for today.”