SIR - With reference to your article and editorial comment in the Craven Herald of June 21 regarding white poppies ('White poppies bid by Mayor rejected').

I was deeply shocked at the response of the Skipton councillors to the Mayor's suggestion that white poppies be added to the usual red wreath on Remembrance Day.

Both red and white poppies have an interesting and chequered history.

It was after the publication of the poem 'In Flanders Fields' that a French woman Moina Belle Michael started wearing a red poppy as a remembrance for all who had died.

Madam E Guerin in the USA also used red poppies to raise funds for all who were suffering from the after-effects of the war.

It was General Haig who in 1921 took over the idea of raising funds, but for injured veterans.

The 'No More War ' movement tried to retain the peaceful meaning of the red poppy but to no avail and thus began in 1933 to produce white poppies as a pacifist alternative as there was still much opposition at this time to remembrance ceremonies and victory balls in the aftermath of such a terrible war; now 100 years later, arms manufacturers and politicians sponsor Remembrance events, detaching any true meaning of the lessons to be learned from the horrors of war.

So the white poppy has been 'trending' for at least 80 years-plus, therefore not quite to attract 'populism' as suggested by the councillors.

As for being 'rubbish', what an offensive and shameful remark that our representatives would use so disrespectfully to our elected mayor (Mr Hickman), a man much respected and admired by many Skipton and the Dales residents.

His mild-mannered request was met with such a barrage of insults and ridicule one begins to wonder what they are afraid of that they resort to such bullying behaviour.

Far from being an 'insult to the fallen', what must have them turning in their graves is the strong possibility of yet more young lives being slaughtered in their thousands at the behest of 'leaders', obviously like many of the members of Skipton Town Council.

The white poppy does represent peace as it says in its centre, which is what those poor young men were fighting for.

It also represents the many thousands of civilians and non-combatants who lost their lives and for what? Only 21 years later in 1939 for it all to start again.

Well done for trying Mr Hickman, for trying to reclaim Remembrance Day.

I'm sure there will be an outcry over this incident and that you will get a well deserved apology.

I will wear my white poppy with pride again this year.

Yours in (somewhat shocked) peace, Olivia Agate, Brookside, Skipton.