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Whole Foods grocery chain has reversed the ban preventing employees from wearing poppies

Whole Foods grocery chain has reversed the ban preventing employees from wearing poppies
Peter Dazeley / The Image Bank / Getty Images

The rule drew widespread condemnation.

The red poppy has become a powerful symbol of remembrance. It is the principal emblem of the Royal Canadian Legion, which distributes several million each year to be worn by Canadians on Remembrance Day.

Less than a week before millions of Canadians are set to pay their respects to veterans, U.S.-based grocery chain Whole Foods had barred its employees from wearing poppies at work because the Remembrance Day symbols didn’t meet their dress code.

News of the ban was first reported by CBC News, citing an employee of Whole Foods location who was quoted saying their supervisor compared wearing the poppy to “supporting a cause.”

"The poppy is an important symbol of remembrance, and it’s more important than ever that everyone support the (Royal Canadian Legion's) Poppy Campaign this year," the employee wrote. 

As you can imagine, the ban has stirred quite an outcry. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in on Friday, saying the company had made a “silly mistake that I hope they will correct quickly.”

Now, just a few hours later, it seems the company has reversed their decision after an intervention from Canada’s Minister of Veterans Affairs Lawrence MacAulay who earlier tweeted that the chain's poppy prohibition is "absolutely unacceptable."

"The poppy is an important symbol of remembrance, and it’s more important than ever that everyone support the (Royal Canadian Legion's) Poppy Campaign this year," he wrote.

A few hours later, On Twitter, MacAulay followed up by saying he had spoken to Whole Foods’ Chief Operating Officer, and “employees will now be able to wear their poppies at work.”

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