Poppies have hit the headlines once more as Theresa May battles with FIFA in regards to English and Scottish footballers donning poppy armbands for the Armistice Day match.

Last year, a newsreader recieved abuse online after choosing not to wear a poppy on air.

Video thumbnail, The PM responds to FIFA's decision to ban the poppy
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The Prime Minister dubs FIFA's ban on poppies outrageous

It's an emotive topic, tied to a bloody, devastating part of our nation's history.

But are we all too wound up about poppies?

Samantha Gildea and Chris Roberts debate.

YES - Samantha Gildea

Last year ITV newsreader Charlene White received racist abuse after she chose not to wear a poppy on air, for neutrality’s sake.

Every November social media is flooded with memes about the importance of buying a poppy and supporting the British Legion — as if not doing so makes you somehow traitorous or ungrateful.

While no-one can argue that the military charity is not a worthy cause, I have no tolerance for those who abuse people who choose, for whatever reason, not to pin a red flower to their lapel.

I’ll be completely honest: I don’t buy one each year, and I don’t always donate. But I don’t feel the lack of poppy on my coat come November 11 is some great disrespect to those who fought and died for us.

In fact, those who would fume about the lack of a poppy on a person’s lapel or insist that they become compulsory for November are going directly against the freedoms our brave soldiers fought to protect.

Of course the horrors of war should never be forgotten, and Armistice Day is an important reminder of the sacrifices made — but surely you can show respect without that public symbol, and without making a cash donation. Respect is not measured in paper flowers and pound coins.

As a pacifist, the notion of blindly backing our armed forces out of patriotic duty makes me uncomfortable — I reserve the right to oppose the military action and I think our society is full of inspiring people worth respect outside of the military.

The Allies conquered fascism in 1945 — let’s not bring it back under the guise of charity.

File photo dated 12-11-2011 of an England player wearing a black armband with a poppy symbol on aside the England badge
File photo dated 12-11-2011 of an England player wearing a black armband with a poppy symbol on aside the England badge

NO - Chris Roberts

This time 100 years ago , our whole nation was in mourning.

The Battle of the Somme was in its final deadly throes, with a total of 420,000 British casualties (killed or injured) suffered between the start of that campaign on July 1, 1916 and its end four months later on November 18.

It was, of course, just one of the campaigns fought during the First World War of 1914-18.

Video thumbnail, Somme cenetary: Huddersfield honours Yorkshire's fallen
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During that four-year period, around 750,000 British soldiers lost their lives, bravely defending their country and everything it stood for.

Whether we were right to declare war on

Germany and her allies on August 4, 1914 – as a result of the Germans invading neutral Belgium to attack France – is something that will be debated for evermore.

But what isn’t up for debate is the fact that so many men sacrificed their lives to protect ours.

During the Great War every single family was directly affected by what was happening. Every family had someone who was part of the conflict and never returned home.

And whether you believe it was right or not to fight, it shouldn’t be forgotten that it wasn’t our soldiers who took that decision to go to war. World leaders were responsible for that.

Our soldiers, our nation’s defenders, were fighting because they were told they had to. That was the case 100 years ago, and it’s still the case today.

And that’s why we should never forget the sacrifices they made – and what better way of doing that than by wearing a poppy, our way of remembering them.