However the simple flower emblem, which has been used since shortly after the end of World War One as it was the only thing to grow on the devastated battlefields of Belgium and northern France, has once again become an issue in itself.
Is the decision to not wear one an act of disrespect?
The Daily Mail newspaper is running a campaign, demanding that Premier League football teams have a poppy embroidered onto the shirts they wear this weekend. Twelve clubs initially said they would do so, but as the Mail turned its ire on those that didn't, all bar two -- Manchester United and Liverpool -- have now agreed to make the gesture.
The Mail said football teams wearing the poppy sent out a "powerful message of solidarity" to Britain's armed forces.
"All too often footballers - on and off the pitch - set a dreadful example to their young supporters," the paper said in its editorial. "It would be to their eternal shame if Manchester United and Liverpool snub the opportunity to demonstrate that their sport can be a force for good."