Knitting group sparks controversy over woolen poppies
More than 100 knitted poppies have left the Fredericton store and requests continue to pour in from as far away as the southwestern United States.
What began as an act of goodwill and charity has turned controversial. It revolves around a nearly sacred symbol – the poppy – and who can and can’t produce them.
A group of knitters has been mass producing woolen poppies in Fredericton for more than a week and they can’t seem to knit fast enough.
"Last week, when we first started putting it on Twitter and Facebook that we had them, we were selling out every day,” says knitting supply store owner Trish Campbell.
“Friday and Saturday, I turned people away all day long, so we just put the crunch on.”
More than 100 knitted poppies have left the store and requests continue to pour in from as far away as the southwestern United States.
The knitted poppies aren’t for sale, but a $5 donation is required.
The knitters, based out of a Fredericton knitting supply store, plan to give the proceeds to the Royal Canadian Legion.
Nevertheless, the Royal Canadian Legion refuses to endorse the campaign, pointing out it owns the copyright to the poppy, and unauthorized reproductions could be considered a trademark infringement.
Despite the controversy, those working the needles feel they’re doing something small for those who have put their lives on the line and have no intention of stopping.
"They left their parents, their spouses, their children, not knowing what the outcome would be, so that's quite the thing and I'm not sure that a lot of people would do that now," says knitter Meredith Culberson.
"We are hoping that while these are reusable poppies, that people will still think when they walk past their poppy seller next year to throw in five bucks or however much into their donation bin," says Campbell.
Legion officials haven’t said whether the group will be asked to stop.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell