11/10/2015 03:17 EST | Updated 11/12/2018 10:57 EST

What To Do With Your Poppy After Nov. 11

Showing your respect also means putting your poppy in its proper place.

(Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2015, and updated in 2018.)

Small red poppies have bloomed on the lapels of many Canadians once again, but after Remembrance Day, people are left wondering what to do with the pin?

Every year, people are spread across corners of Canada handing out red poppies in exchange for a small donation starting the last Friday of October until Nov. 11, during what's known as the Remembrance period.

But following Remembrance Day, many are at a loss when it comes to the correct way to dispose of their poppy, or how long they should wear it on their coat.

The Royal Canadian Legion, the veteran support organization that operates the Poppy Campaign, states in their manual that poppies should be removed "immediately following the end of Remembrance Day."

They say it is acceptable to wear a poppy at commemorative events outside of this period, but during this period, they recommend leaving your poppy at the base of a war memorial or a cenotaph once Remembrance Day ends. There are more than 6000 military memorials catalogued across Canada. Some notable ones can be found at this list here.

Until it's time to part with these brooches, make sure you wear it on your left lapel, exactly as received. Swapping out the pin for a safety pin or even Canadian flag, which people often consider doing, is considered defacing the symbol, the Legion writes in the manual.

As far as the colour of the centre, black and green have both been put out by the organization, but they've recently gone back to black, which is closer to an actual poppy's likeness.

In case the rules have you fretting, or you've lost your poppy, this year the Legion also offered a way to pay your respects online. You can superimpose a banner over your social media profile pictures to show your pledge to remember, and in 2018, the Legion also offered "digital poppies" to spur interest from a younger generation.

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