“The Emblem of Sleep for the Dead—And ‘Dope’ for the Living”: Armistice Day, the Flanders Poppy, and the National War Memorial, 1924–1932
This chapter addresses the Irish Free State during Cumann na nGaedheal’s leadership. The Free State government attempted to craft an independent state increasingly devoid of British symbols and origins. While the state did not actively disallow commemorative activities, it withheld support and stonewalled commemoration attempts when possible. Groups like the Anti-Imperialist League actively fought against those who wished to support Armistice Day. The debate over the Great War’s role in independent Ireland often turned bloody, with republicans attacking poppy wearers, and gradually edged out hope for ex-servicemen. Because of this ambivalence and violence, many Irish stuck to their own personal methods of remembrance or created new ones to avoid the slanderous claims of “imperialist” that might be thrown at them for attending a commemorative event.