Before Memorial Day in 1922, the VFW conducted its first poppy distribution,
becoming the first veterans' organization to organize a nationwide
distribution. The poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower
of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, as it remains
During their 1923 encampment, the VFW decided that "Buddy"® Poppies would be assembled by disabled and needy veterans who would be paid for their work to provide them with financial assistance. The next year, disabled veterans at the Buddy Poppy factory in Pittsburgh assembled VFW Buddy Poppies. The designation "Buddy Poppy" was adopted at that time.
In February 1924, the name "Buddy Poppy" was registered with the U.S. Patent Office. A certificate was issued on May 20, 1924, granting the VFW organization all trademark rights in the name of Buddy under the classification of artificial flowers. Since then, that trademark is a guarantee that all poppies bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. No other organization, firm or individual can legally use the name Buddy Poppy.
Today, VFW Buddy Poppies are still assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals.
The VFW Buddy Poppy program provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans' rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home For Children.
Hear from those who assemble the mighty little flowers in "The Veterans Behind the Buddy Poppy" video.