Updated: Feb 15
So where do we start let’s go back to the beginning at around 6 years old, I was introduced to the British Legion by my grandfather who was himself a Veteran of WW2, many of my visits were sitting around hearing stories about the war and the people who were involved and stories of those who never came home.
One of the biggest things I remembered from those visits was the level of respect and service that was shown from these people, that level of respect and service would carry me through my own service within the British Military. Security has always been a part of my life so it seemed natural that when I left the Military, I would embark on a career in the security industry that would lead me too today.
After working for multiple security companies, I made the decision to start my own. After lots of thought and stress the company was born H.F.H. SECURITY SERVICES. INC. (HONOURING FALLEN HEROES).
This felt right to pay my respect to those who have served, but we needed to do something different so we made the decision that we would support Veterans and Retired First Responders. Our aim is to employ up to 80% of our staff coming from Veterans and Retired First Responders. I also mandated it in our policies that a percentage of what we made from a client would be paid back to the charities that support our Veterans and Retired First Responders.
So, we were on our way website set up with a great logo, uniforms designed, business cards looking sharp, and for almost 2 years I felt proud that we were slowly starting to get recognition for what we were doing.
In 2021 which was our first year in business we were awarded best security service provider in Ontario, in 2022 we were accredited with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Things could not be going better. In 2023 we would have our second interview our first interview was in June 2020 by Authority Magazine with the headline,
Social Impact Heroes: How John Donoghue Is Helping to Find New Opportunities for Struggling Veterans and Emergency Responders
The interview in 2023 was with the Barrie Today with the headline,
Angus security firm helps veterans, retired first-responders
This interview was on the 31st of January 2023 by the 1st of February it was published. We were supper happy that the word would be spread about the company and what we were doing.
February the 2nd I received an email telling me
One of my roles is to oversee the Poppy Trademark for the Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command. The following link shows the Poppy and Poppy Trademark https://www.hfhsecurityservices.com/about-us I would like to point out that you cannot use the Poppy Trademark image without the authority of the Royal Canadian Legion.
As the largest Veterans organization in the country, we were given the responsibility of preserving the Poppy as the symbol of the sacrifice of our Veterans. This was to ensure that it would never be used for commercial or personal gain or would never be desecrated through inappropriate use.
This is simply a friendly initial alert to inform that should you wish to use the poppy symbol now or in the future, the process can be found here: http://legion.ca/remembrance/the-poppy/the-poppy-trademark . For now you are asked to remove any advertisement or company identification with the Poppy Trademark. If you have any questions, please ask. Thank you,
WOW not impressed on the next page is the logo for H.F.H. SECURITY SERVICES. INC. That we had, below I will explain.
Disclaimer: This picture is being used to highlight a story this is not intended to be used as a logo or for any marketing purposes.
This was our logo the image of the rose we found because this was the flower my grandfather gave to my grandmother every day until he passed away. We found on the free site Shutterstock which has thousands of free images, we changed the design in the centre of the flower and added our initials then we added the names of the services we support before adding a banner underneath.
So then on February 6th, 2023, we receive another email from a legal team giving us a cease-and-desist letter because we are using what they believe is a POPPY and that belongs to the Legion.
So here are a few flowers that we found.
Windflower (Anemone coronaria) is a tuberous perennial native to the Mediterranean. Standing from 9 to 18 inches high and 6 to 9 inches wide, this April to June bloomer has green basal leaves, each divided into nine leaflets. Each of its 10- to-12-inch-high stems produces one showy, poppy-like bloom up to 2.5 inches across.
Satin flower (Clarkia amoena), an annual native to Northwestern California's coastal bluffs, grows 2 feet to 30 inches high. Happiest in cool weather, it produces poppy-like, 2- to 3-inch flowers in June and July. They may be pink, red or lavender.
Prairie Poppy Mallow
Prairie poppy mallow (Callirhoe alcaeoides) is a low—6 inches to 1 foot—mat-forming perennial of prairies and roadsides across the Midwestern and Southern United States. An attractive ground cover, it has trailing stems with lobed foliage. Stiff hairs cover the leaves. Between June and August, it blooms profusely with 2.5-inch, cup-shaped blooms similar to poppy flowers.
Like the POPPY but clearly not the POPPY
H.F.H. LOGO similar but not the POPPY.
As a Veteran I am disgusted that they just assumed that this is a POPPY and told me that I am not allowed to use it as it is disrespectful.
Hang on one minute why did I set up this company? Who am I trying to help? They told me that nobody is allowed to make a profit from the POPPY logo, well I don’t make a profit from the logo I make a profit by working hard and sacrificing family time to earn a living, the logo is there to represent who I support. Other companies sell all kinds of things with the POPPY in on our around them, but they have no cease-and-desist letters they are not being told that they are disrespecting the POPPY.
In my opinion the Legion has changed over the years and despite the claim that they are the biggest organization that supports Veterans I personally feel that this is not the case.
I will change my logo under duress and hate the fact that I must do this because someone deemed it a POPPY. As a Veteran I have the upmost respect for the POPPY and what it stands for, I have the upmost respect for the men women and children who have sacrificed their lives so that we have the freedoms that we have today. I do not however have respect for an organization that claims to help and support Veterans come after a small company because of a flower, we have Veterans living on the streets we have Veterans taking their own lives daily and you worried about my logo……..