Welcome back, in today’s blog we wanted to discuss the inspiration behind our ‘Sunflower - Impuzzible 400 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle’: the history of flowers used as signs of peace. The Ukrainian people are not the first to adopt a flower as a sign of peace, this has happened many times in the past.
1930’s White Poppies
After the first world war, the red poppy was used as a sign of remembrance for those who had lost their lives in the conflict. The Nazi’s started to become a larger force in Europe during the 1930’s and people began to wear the white poppy across Europe, fearful that there would be another war, which was unthinkable. This was a sign of a pledge of peace, that war must never happen again.
1960’s real flower power
By the late 60’s America had become a divided nation over the Vietnam war and protests regularly ended in violence. In the late 60’s, protesters marched on the Pentagon and were met by armed military police. A young man walked right up to one of the guards and, with a rifle pointed directly at his head, produced a flower which he placed into the barrel of the gun. The image taken of the man’s brave act of peace and the confusion on the faces of the police captured one of the most powerful moments in the history of the peace movement.
1970’s Carnation Revolution
In 1974 some members of the Portuguese Military lead a coup against their fascist leader Estado Novo. Thousands of civilians took to the streets in support of the coup and when soldiers refused to fire on their own people the civilians placed carnations in the barrels of their guns as a sign of peace and thanks. Only a few people were killed during the revolution and it became one of the most peaceful coups in history.
The Sunflower a symbol of a long struggle
The Sunflower is more than just a symbol of peace to the Ukrainians, it has close religious ties to their Orthodox beliefs as it produces one of the few fats that the Catholic church allows them to consume during Lent. The sunflower is also a sign of hope in the face of disaster, they are adept at extracting radioactive metals and were planted in the fields surrounding Chernobyl to make the land more habitable.
All of these amazing stories throughout history inspired us to design the ‘Sunflower - Impuzzible 400 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle’ to raise money for the DEC and help the people of Ukraine. You can still buy both of our Ukraine appeal jigsaw puzzles, just click here.
If you can, please support our Sow a Sunflower of Solidarity campaign. To find out more click here or listen to the podcast below.