Bancroft volunteers create huge Canadian flag of poppies to remember the fallen

Hand-crafted flag on display at Vintage on Hastings in Bancroft until after Remembrance Day

Hospice volunteers have hand crafted this large Canadian flag of poppies, which is hanging at Vintage on Hastings, the shop operated in downtown Bancroft by Hospice North Hastings. In previous years, hospice volunteers have used their skills for other large-scale projects to commemorate Remembrance Day. (Photo: Barb Shaw)
Hospice volunteers have hand crafted this large Canadian flag of poppies, which is hanging at Vintage on Hastings, the shop operated in downtown Bancroft by Hospice North Hastings. In previous years, hospice volunteers have used their skills for other large-scale projects to commemorate Remembrance Day. (Photo: Barb Shaw)

When a large Canadian flag was donated last summer to Vintage on Hastings, the shop operated in downtown Bancroft by Hospice North Hastings, manager Heather Brough said it served as the inspiration for this year’s Remembrance Day installation.

Brough and a group of Hospice volunteers have created different poppy-based art installations over the past years, including the Station Street poppy “yarn bomb”.

Last year, the volunteers stitched together thousands of hand-crafted poppies to make Canada’s largest poppy, drawing visitors from across the region, when it was installed on the front of Vintage.

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“We had all of these poppies and we wanted to create another symbolic remembrance of those who made such incredible sacrifices,” Brough said. “When we received the flag, we just knew what our next project would be.”

Brough searched online to see if anyone else had done a project like this but she found nothing similar, so the volunteer team got to work on their new idea.

The hand-crafted poppy flag will remain on display  at Vintage on Hastings in Bancroft until after Remembrance Day. (Photo: Barb Shaw)
The hand-crafted poppy flag will remain on display at Vintage on Hastings in Bancroft until after Remembrance Day. (Photo: Barb Shaw)

Using their red poppies made for an easy start to the project, but Brough says volunteers also crafted white and cream-coloured poppies for the white parts of the flag.

“We had to use lots of different shades to add depth and texture to the flag,” Brough explains.

“Volunteers were stitching while working on cash at the store and we also got together on weekends and evenings to assemble the piece.”

Working as a group, adding poppies and stitching away, the volunteers noticed something remarkable.

A larger poppy had been stitched on, near the centre of the maple leaf on the flag, and it looked like a heart.

“Seeing that one poppy, in the centre, it symbolized so much of what we were reflecting on while we worked,” Brough says.

“We hope our way of remembering will inspire everyone in our community to also take some time for reflection. We believe there’s a heart in the centre of this poppy flag for a reason.”

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With assistance from Town of Bancroft staff, the hand-crafted poppy flag was installed on the outside of the second floor of Vintage on Hastings on Monday morning (October 28).

Brough says working with the town’s staff is always a pleasure.

“They are so enthusiastic and positive about our projects,” Brough explains. “We could not do this without them, and they even noticed the heart poppy!”

Staff from the Town of Bancroft assisted with the installation of the hand-crafted poppy flag on the outside of the second floor of Vintage on Hastings in Bancroft. (Photo: Barb Shaw)
Staff from the Town of Bancroft assisted with the installation of the hand-crafted poppy flag on the outside of the second floor of Vintage on Hastings in Bancroft. (Photo: Barb Shaw)

The flag will hang until after Remembrance Day and Brough says she hopes that it inspires others to remember.

This story was originally published by Barb Shaw on her website at And now … Plan B.

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