Legion asks group to stop distributing knitted poppies
Published Monday, November 5, 2012 6:49PM AST
The Royal Canadian Legion says a group of Fredericton women should stop distributing the poppies they are knitting.
It’s an informal request as of now, but it could become a formal one, and might even end up in court if the knitters refuse to comply.
Despite the legion’s warning, Trish Campbell says poppy production will continue at her knitting supply store in Fredericton until someone from the legion formally asks her to stop.
So far, Campbell says no one from the legion has spoken to her about the knitted poppies.
“Until I hear otherwise, we’re going to keep going,” she says. “If the legion asks up to stop, we’ll definitely stop. But, until we hear from them though, no.”
Campbell and a group of other knitting enthusiasts began knitting woolen poppies ten days ago and have been distributing them to people in return for a $5 donation.
The group has pledged to give every dollar from the project to the Royal Canadian Legion. As of Monday, the group has raised more than $700.
However, the legion says the program has to stop.
“As far as we’re concerned, it’s an infringement of our poppy trademark,” says Paul Poirier, president of the New Brunswick command of the Royal Canadian Legion.
He says the legion owns the trademark on the poppy and that - despite Campbell’s claim - the group has been asked to put down their needles.
“They said ‘We are not selling the poppies’ but a $5 donation is required,” says Poirier. “So, that tells me that they are selling the knitted poppies.”
Stephanie Shipley picked up her knitted poppy last week.
“I like the knitted poppy because I can wear it and likely will wear it longer than a traditional poppy,” she says.
She also says she can’t understand the legion’s position on the project.
“Embrace a member of the community that’s trying to do something that’s really good, with no profit to themselves,” says Shipley.
“Their time, their overhead, the matierals, everything is being donated and they’re going to walk down to the legion with a fistful of money to say ‘Here, help our veterans.’ I think that should be embraced by our Royal Canadian Legion.”
In the United Kingdom, the legion actually endorses knitted poppies and uses the program as part of its annual fundraising campaign.
Campbellsays she will donate the funds raised from her project to Fredericton’s veterans’ hospital if the legion won’t accept them.
“It would be nice if we could reach an agreement. That’s all I want to see.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell