Wednesday 11 November 2009

Poppy fascism – the evidence from Google

True, Google is not (yet) the master of the universe, but it represents a significant share of the cyber-universe. One of its little gimmicks is to 'decorate' its on-screen logo with items relevant to the day or season – hence snowmen at Christmas, shamrocks on St Patrick's day, and so on.

It is interesting, therefore, to look at the Google logos in various 'national versions' today – 11 November – 'armistice day'. The poppy fascists of the British establishment, and their supporters, often claim that the poppy is some sort of international symbol and that the refusal by Irish people to display it is somehow out of kink with 'civilised society'.

Here, then is today's Google UK logo, complete with poppy:
But in other parts of the British Empire – the areas claimed by some as loyal poppy-wearing territories, the poppy is largely absent. [NB all screenshots were captured on 11 November 2009]

New Zealand:


Only in Canada does Google consider the poppy to be worth adding to their page (but not the actual logo):

In less loyal ex-colonies the British symbolism is entirely lacking.

And amongst the other countries directly (and much more devastatingly) involved in the First World War, no sign of poppies can be found.

The evidence from Google, therefore, is that the poppy is not a universal symbol, or even a symbol common to participants in the first or second world wars – it is a symbol only of Britain and Canada. Attempts to browbeat Irish people into wearing it are dishonest and political, and must be treated with due contempt.


Watcher said...

I think it's in memory of all those Irish Catholics who fought in The British Army and died under The Union Flag.

Lest We Forget.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I am from Canada. Here we have virtually elevated the poppy to an iconic status. I just don't agree with this at all. Wilhelmine Germany was no threat at all to Canada and Canadians would have been much better off avoiding that stupid and selfish war altogether. I don't see why I should worship or admire a bunch of morons who volunteered to get shot in the mud fighting Germans who were no threat to their country. Much the same logic applies to WW2. Germany was no threat to Canada and she should have stayed out of the war. To those who argue a moral imperative I would say that choosing Stalin over Hitler negated that. Nor can it be shown that Canadian participation saved any Jewish lives.

Foxy said...

What a sad thing that a symbol to remember the dead, many of which were victims of political decisions beyond their control should be turned into a sectarian argument. It's not even a British symbol in origin. The wearing of the poppy in remembrance to the WWI dead was started by an American woman inspired by the poem In Flanders Field (written by a Canadian solider and surgeon). Americans that wear a poppy do so on Veterans Day in MAY so it's absence from a Google site in November bears no relevance. The proceeds of poppy sales in the Republic of Ireland go solely to its own soldiers including those injured today in various UN peace keeping missions. While there may be some in Britain who wear a poppy as a jingoistic symbol they are in a tiny minority and the poppy is to remind us that war is not a glorious thing but one where the sacrifice of death and injury are very real. As for the "New World Order" of WWII being no threat to Canada I would seriously doubt if victorious that its influence would not have been felt way beyond the boundaries of Europe, this may be a matter of conjecture, but we should not let a symbol to remember those who suffered for the freedoms we enjoy today be neither hijacked for imperialism by politicising it nor demonised for something it isn’t.

Foxy said...

correction to last post: we should not let a symbol to remember those who suffered for the freedoms we enjoy today be either hijacked for imperialism by politicising it or demonised for something it isn’t.

Anonymous said...

piece here of interest:

Anonymous said...

Reply to Foxy:

I say again Germany was NEVER a threat to Canada. There was no reason for Canada to fight Germany. Canada could have been as disconnected from these wars as Mexico was. Switzerland, Sweden and Spain were all neutral in these wars. So why couldn't Canada have been neutral too? The Atlantic ocean and sharing a border with America made Canada perfectly safe. And please don't preach to me about the holocaust or morality. Stalin was more evil then Hitler. He certainly had more blood on his hands. In any case the great bulk of European Jewry lay in eastern and central Europe far removed from any sector Canadians and their masters the British fought in. It is ludicrous to argue that Canada's intervention saved any Jewish lives. It was Russia that destroyed the Third Reich. 90% of all German soldiers were killed by the Red army. By the time of the D-day landings the Germans had already sustained well north of 4 million casualties at the hands of the Soviets.

Foxy said...

Anon from Canada, you aa being presumtious and counhter arguing points I havn't even raised. Like in other coutries dhousands of Canadians were conscripted (from 1943 in Canada's case). If you disagreed with Canada being in the war, even more reason to remember the individuals who were not aprt of the politics that put them in the fight. As for Stalin, he was a mainiac, but thank goodness there were western Allies to also do their part in the German defeat to stop Stalin taking the WHOLE of Europe. BVut I guess that wouldn't have bothered you since it's not in your back yard.

Anonymous said...

There is a certain kind of odious British imperialist who regards the wearing of the poppy as some kind of litmus test, as evidenced by the campaign of hate waged against a pub which had declined to allow an on-site canvas for donations. And these people are rightly to be scorned.

But let's not have amnesia or be in denial about the fact that more Irishmen from the south died in British uniforms in both world wars than from the north. Let's not airbrush ourselves from this bit of history as our enemies would like. Better to just use a different coloured poppy and be clear that the money goes to old Irish soldiers. Personally, I'd have no problem with a green poppy with an orange leaf and the money being allocated with no regard to the border.

If a man fought against the Nazis it surely didn't REALLY matter if he was from the north or south.

Anonymous said...

I find it quite hilarious that the article has been written under "poppy fascim". I have never heard of such a thing before.

Having had visits from the U.K., the Republic and France during early November I have seen many from those countries wearing the puppy. I have not seen Italians wearing the puppy though.

The Germans of course, having lost, and not remembering WWI do not wear the puppy. The puppy is a symbol of the victorious countries, mourning their dead, and yes Ireland, the whole island, was on the "winning side".

WWI was a useless war, nobody actually gained a lot from it, if at all. It killed millions of people, destabilized the world economy etc. WWI laid the foundations for the next war WWII, had WWI been avoided, Hitler, Lenin and Stalin would not have come to power, which would have been a good thing for all peoples on Earth.

a Scandinavian living inGermany.

hoboroad said...

Great post Horseman keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

FFS hoboroad, this brown nosing really has to stop. Are you and bangordub his best mates or something?

Anonymous said...

"Britain's last WWI veteran shuns Remembrance Day"

Britain's last surviving World War I veteran shunned Remembrance Day commemorations Wednesday because he was against the glorification of war, his family was reported as saying.;_ylt=ArvJ7mHDmJPEPE9fWUjJfYJvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTM3Y3Y1cjRwBGFzc2V0A2FmcC8yMDA5MTExMS9hdXN0cmFsaWFicml/