NEWS
10/26/2018 20:29 EDT | Updated 10/26/2018 20:29 EDT

Royal Canadian Legion Releases Digital Remembrance Day Poppies

They hope it will appeal to young people.

OTTAWA — The Remembrance Day poppy has entered the digital age.

The Royal Canadian Legion launched a digital version of the distinctive red flower, which it says can be customized, shared online and used as a profile image on sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

They are available for an online donation at www.mypoppy.ca until Nov. 11 and are meant to complement the traditional lapel poppy, typically available at cafe and convenience store cash registers alongside a donation box.

Canadian Press
A cadet holds a tablet showing the digital poppy during a ceremony at the Beechwood National Memorial centre on Monday.

The Royal Canadian Legion's deputy director says he hopes a digital version will appeal to younger generations accustomed to communicating on social media.

Danny Martin says it's also meant to address our "increasingly cashless society," and make poppies available in parts of Canada where they may be difficult to find.

The bright red poppies are meant to be worn from the last Friday of October until midnight, Nov. 11. Martin says this year's poppy can be used with a butterfly clasp being sold alongside the poppy to better secure it in place.

Canadian Press
A veteran wears a poppy on his lapel during a Remembrance Day ceremony in Montreal on Nov. 11, 2017.

The online version produces an image that looks like a silver coin with a red poppy at the centre. The words "Remembrance Day 2018" run along the top edge, while the bottom edge can be customized to display the name of a veteran or someone in service. Otherwise, the words "We Remember" will appear.

Publicity material for the digital poppy featured endorsements by celebrity Canadians including Margaret Atwood, Ashley Callingbull and Don Cherry, who dedicated his poppy to his great uncle, Sgt. Thomas William MacKenzie. He died in battle four days before Armistice Day in 1918.