"THE VFW MOTTO"
To Honor the dead by helping the liveing
THE HISTORY OF OUR
"BUDDY" POPPY CAMPAIGN
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United
States was the first organization to promote
a nationwide distribution of poppies
assembled by disabled and need veterans.
To substantiate this claim, and to dispel any
claim to the contrary the following
chronological and documentary information
is briefly outlined.
In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s
League conducted a nationwide distribution
of Poppies made in France, for the benefit of
children in the war-torn areas of France and
Belgium. The inspiration came from Col. John
McCrae’s poem, "In Flanders Fields."
October 1921, the American Legion, at its
convention in Kansas City, repudiated its
action of 1920 in choosing the poppy as its
official flower and substituted the daisy.
In May 1922, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of
the United States conducted a nationwide
distribution of poppies made in France. This
was after the dissolution of the
Franco-American Children’s League, and in
response to an appeal by Madame Guerin,
"the poppy lady from France."
In October 1922, following the first
nationwide distribution of poppies by the
VFW, the American Legion Convention
repudiated the daisy as its official flower and
again adopted the poppy.
In the spring of 1923, the American Legion
conducted its first nationwide sale of
poppies made by a French manufacturer.
In 1923, the VFW evolved the idea which
resulted in the VFW "Buddy Poppy" fashioned
by disabled and needy veterans who were
paid for their work in assembling "Buddy"
poppies. In February 1924, the VFW
registered the name "Buddy" Poppy with the
U.S. Patent Office, and still holds all
trademark rights in the name "Buddy" under
the classification of artificial flowers.
Since May 1924, the VFW has annually
conducted a "Buddy" Poppy campaign.