Home > Contemplations > The Cancer Awareness Daffodil Pin & The Remembrance Day Poppy Pin

The Cancer Awareness Daffodil Pin & The Remembrance Day Poppy Pin


OK, I had no idea that the daffodil was the sign of Cancer Awareness or that April was Cancer Awareness Month aka “Daffodil Month“. Maybe I am just oblivious but I really had no clue. Did anyone notice any billboards or hear/see any commercials to publicize this in Toronto by the way? Because I think I missed the memo.

Apparently, Ontario politicians were wearing these daffodil pins all of April to show they’re aware of the issue and that they support finding a cure. (Who wouldn’t support that after all?) So now I know for next year that the daffodils signify Cancer Awareness Month and Cancer Awareness Month is in April. I definitely noticed people wearing the daffodil pins but let’s be honest, there are a million and one different causes going on every day which we should all support but we can’t possibly be part of all of them. Now that I think about it, I have definitely seen people wearing them and daffodils appearing in people’s avatars on Twitter but I didn’t really pay any attention because the symbol meant nothing to me.

There is another flower that is represented by a pin very similar to the Cancer Awareness Month Pin which I think the vast majority of us DO know about in Ontario and we see/wear them every year from  from the last Friday in October to 11:59pm on November 11 – the poppy. If you don’t know the poppy pin’s significance here is an explanation according to the Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Regional Command.

So now that I got the memo out to more people that April is Daffodil Month for Cancer Awareness and mentioned the poppy let me get to the much more mundane point of this post – it’s about the pins. (See what I did there, poin + pins…I crack me up.) The pin that the fake poppy is attached to is just a straight pin with no clasp or anything to actually hold it on your clothing as you can see in the image to the right. Every year I know a number of people who go through numerous poppy pins because you look like a jerk if you aren’t wearing one in support of our veterans and those who gave their lives protecting our country but the darn things fall out incessantly. According to an article in the Sudbury Star, McDonald’s and Tim Hortons have banned their front line employees from wearing the poppy pins because it is unsafe for them to be wearing these pins which fall out while preparing food. I totally can see that, that’s a huge lawsuit just waiting to happen if someone finds a pin in their meal or worse, finds it in their mouth. There are many articles written probably every year (or else they are just reprinted) about these pins with tips how to keep them in place like these from The Toronto Star, Citytv Toronto, The Hamilton Spectator, The National Post, and Canada.com. I have heard conspiracy theorists say that they sell them with a straight pin which falls out easily on purpose so that you buy more of them and donate more money, but I doubt there’s very much validity to that theory.

My question is:

Has anyone told the Royal Canadian Legion about the daffodil pins the Canadian Cancer Society is selling and how they don’t fall out?

I ask this because I’ve noticed that the daffodil pins have included with them this ingenious little device that’s a thin rubber straw which keeps it from falling out. I wonder how long the Canadian Cancer Society had to work on this innovative project and how many engineers they hired to create this modern marvel of posy pin placement preservation (PS that last bit was sarcasm).

The poppy pins have been around for about 80 years (since World War I) and in this time NOBODY has managed to figure this out. This year, 2011, was the first year that the Canadian Cancer Society took their Daffodil Month national and already they’ve jumped ahead of the Royal Canadian Legion and every other veteran’s association in other countries (like the USA and the UK) which have been selling the poppy pins for EIGHT DECADES. No disrespect meant at all for the war veterans and those who gave their lives so I can live in a free, democratic country but I also have to call them as I see them. Here’s hoping we see these little rubber tubes on our poppy pins this coming November. BUT! Just in case we don’t I am totally going to be keeping my daffodil pin somewhere so I have that little rubber tube when the last Friday in October 2011 rolls around. You can still probably find some daffodil pins out there in Toronto, I happen to know that the Tbooth wireless location in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre still had the daffodil pins available as of this past week.

Poppy pin picture via phyllysfaves.blogspot.com

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  1. danah
    May 7, 2011 at 8:08 am

    April has been Cancer Awareness month for as long as I can remember. You don’t remember the less fancy daffodils from previous years? They were hard plastic with a pin. I cannot find an example of on in google images, maybe the canadian cancer society has made an attempt to wipe them out. I thought it was national. Was in only Ontario? Was it Niagara based where I grew up? Cancer Society also sells live daffodils as well.

    About the pins, I have always joked that the Legion designed the pins so you would lose them and have to replace them constantly. Of course this is a joke. But I agree that they should take the same steps the Cancer Society has by selling poppies with little stoppers. I have managed to use the same poppy for years I guard it with my life and just make donations because I feel a new guilt using a previous year’s poppy.

    • May 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      Nope! I don’t recall ever seeing them before to be perfectly honest. Maybe I was just not paying enough attention before. I am totally (going to try) keeping that little straw to use for this year’s poppy but we will see how that works out. Obviously, whether or not you take a poppy we should all be donating something to the Vets!

  2. roryjunegreen
    April 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Hey – I used to work at the cancer society – to answer your questions:
    -April has been “cancer month” for a LONG time, the CCS used to mainly sell live daffodils but are moving to the pins (it started in 2009 with these new pins I think).
    -Before they started doing the pins, the Cancer Society met with the legion, and got their blessing, before they even started doing the pin thing. The legion completely supports the pins, and even shared tips and insight from their campaign.
    -The CCS chose to put the rubber stopper so they could mail them out – as they raise a lot of money through a thing called direct mail (which is basically mailing people and asking for donations). It was not a choice to make it easier for them to stay on, but it was a nice side effect!
    -I think the legion is concidering it – but it would cost them money to do so.
    -tip: keep your rubber stopper and use it with your poppy!

    • April 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      Thanks so much for the input roryjunegreen! Very much appreciated.
      Alas, I lost my stopper from my 2011 daffodil by the time Remembrance Day came around in 2011 (probably largely because I moved in the interim) but I have high hopes for 2012!

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  1. November 8, 2015 at 11:55 am

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