The Immortal Poppy is digital art

The Royal Canadian Legion

The Royal Canadian Legion has digitized a real Flanders poppy to commemorate its 100th year as a symbol of remembrance. 

Dubbed the “Immortal Poppy,” the project has created highly detailed virtual copies of a hand-plucked, fully bloomed poppy sourced from Flanders Fields. The petals of the digital flower are 3D and rotatable and bear the names of all Canadian war dead spanning from the First World War. 

The poppies will be auctioned off in online marketplaces as limited-edition pieces of digital artwork, with the 100th copy saved for use by the Legion. Each will be presented as a non-fungible token, a type of digital file that is serialized and authenticated on purchase, making each file unique to the buyer. Proceeds of the Immortal Poppy campaign go to the Legion’s poppy fund, used to support veterans and their families. 

The initiative was created, in part, to engage with Canadians in the digital realm, an arena into which the Legion is increasingly expanding. 

Digitizing the poppy, Chute said, was an obvious next step.

“We’re in the modern ages now,” said Freeman Chute, Director, Poppy and Remembrance Division. “We’ve had ‘Remembrance Island’ to reach out to the youth, we have the Pay Tribute poppy boxes…. We needed something else in the digital [sphere] that would reach out to the community, that could be held onto for years to come.”

Remembrance Island is a virtual arena in the popular video game Fortnite, featuring landmarks from Canada’s role in the First World War. The Pay Tribute poppy boxes make use of tap technology that allows credit and debit cards to make donations, rather than physical cash. 

Digitizing the poppy, Chute said, was an obvious next step. 

“The Legion is all about promoting remembrance. We promote it by the poppy, and with this [campaign] we can immortalize the sacrifice…of all the veterans we’ve lost over the years,” said Chute.

The Immortal Poppy campaign begins on the final Friday of October and ends on Remembrance Day. 

To support veterans and their family, please visit immortalpoppy.com and purchase a digital poppy.

Sign up today for a FREE download of Canada’s War Stories

Free e-book

An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.