She Bought Poppies Not Bandages: Moïna Belle Michael’s Appropriation of the ‘Flanders Fields’ Poppy

Stow, Lee K. She Bought Poppies Not Bandages: Moïna Belle Michael’s Appropriation of the ‘Flanders Fields’ Poppy. ISSN UNSPECIFIED

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She Bought Poppies Not Bandages: Moïna Belle Michael’s Appropriation of the ‘Flanders Fields’ Poppy
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Abstract

This new and original empirical research addresses a gap in the expansive field of First World War studies, memoralisation and the evolution of the red poppy remembrance symbol. It explores the untold story of American woman Moïna Belle Michael’s response to the war through largely-unpublished, primary source material held in historical archives in Georgia, United States (US).

In 1918 Michael appropriated the red poppy flower from the well-known war poem In Flanders Fields. She lobbied and campaigned for the flower to become a recognised symbol of remembrance in America. She also married the poppy with the torch symbol in an attempt to establish a new, universal symbol of remembrance, the Victory Memorial Emblem.

Research reveals how Michael engaged with and responded to mediated messages and visual symbolisms of contemporary war ideology published as an illustrated version of the war poem in a popular women’s magazine. Methodologies of semiotics and critical discourse analysis were used to examine the primary source material to answer the research question: what mediated messages and visual symbolisms led Moïna Belle Michael to appropriate the red ‘Flanders Fields’ poppy? Analysis then considered the broader cultural resonance of Moina’s contribution and significance in order to stimulate further research into Michael as a key figure in First World War remembrance.

Keywords:First World War Studies, Memoralisation, Remembrance
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V230 American History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V140 Modern History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V145 Modern History 1900-1919
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
ID Code:36496
Deposited On:19 Jul 2019 09:53

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