The VFW conducted its first poppy distribution before Memorial Day in 1922, becoming the first veterans' organization to organize a nationwide distribution.
The poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower of the
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
It was during the 1923 encampment that the VFW decided that
VFW Buddy Poppies be assembled by disabled and needy veterans
who would be paid for their work to provide them
with some form of financial assistance.
The plan was formally adopted during the VFW's 1923 encampment.
The next year, disabled veterans at the Buddy Poppy factory in Pittsburgh
assembled VFW Buddy Poppies.
The designation "Buddy Poppy" was adopted at that time.
In February 1924, the VFW registered the name "Buddy Poppy"
with the U.S. Patent Office.
A certificate was issued on May 20, 1924, granting the VFW
all trademark rights in the name of Buddy Poppy
under the classification of artificial flowers.
The VFW has made that trademark a guarantee that all poppies
bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products
of the work of disabled and needy veterans.
No other organization, firm or individual
can legally use the name "Buddy Poppy."
Today, VFW Buddy Poppies are still assembled by
disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals.
The minimal assessment (cost of Buddy Poppies) to VFW units
provides compensation to the veterans
who assemble the poppies,
provides financial assistance in maintaining
state and national veterans' rehabilitation and service programs
and partially supports the VFW National Home
for orphans and widows of our nation's veterans.