Ypres is the symbol of the ultimate resilience and dynamics of a city ecosystem. It refounded itself, recreated, rebalanced and resurrected from the immense losses on the dark battlefields of the Big War. If there is a city which can be given a distinctive colour, then it is Ypres in West-Flanders, Belgium. The city has the name City of Peace.
The poppy (Papaver spp.), in abundance growing among the graves of war victims near the city, has become the symbol for the remembrance for those who lost their lives. The remembrance poppy, the artificial flower and first created by Madame Guérin, is often worn on clothing leading up to Remembrance Day/Armistice Day on the 11th of November, the day in 2018 when the war was ended.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
– John McGrae
The most abundant flower – among other species of papavers – near the graves of the soldiers is the Flanders Poppy (Papaver rhoeas L.). When florists speak about the poppy they often mark it with the colour scarlet. Within Ecosystem City® we link the poppy colour Pantone® Poppy Red 17-1664 TPG to that of the city.
McCrae, John (1918). In Flanders Fields and Other Poems. Salt Lake City: Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.