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The Good GlowCharity and the Symbolic Power of Doing Good$
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Jon Dean

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447340027

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447340027.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Poppy fascism

Poppy fascism

(p.121) 6 Poppy fascism
The Good Glow

Jon Dean

Policy Press

This chapter focuses on the poppy, the fundraising symbol of remembrance for the contribution of the armed services, and more specifically, the yearly controversy that surrounds it. Known as ‘poppy fascism’, the demand that all public figures must wear the poppy prominently and respectfully during the autumn in the lead-up to Remembrance Sunday, this phenomenon illustrates how the essential goodness of charity symbols can be weaponised and used competitively and judgementally. Examining the yearly poppy outcry through the lens of postcolonial theory, one sees how the poppy is forced to bear a lot of cultural and symbolic weight, partly because it is held up as an unalloyed ‘good thing’. The chapter then outlines the problems created by ‘poppy fascism’ for sector leaders. It also shows what this simple charitable fundraising and remembrance tool says about modern Britain today.

Keywords:   poppy, poppy fascism, Remembrance Sunday, goodness, charity symbols, sector leaders, charitable fundraising, modern Britain, fundraising symbol

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