Monday, 14 April 2008

A Potent Symbol of Peace

The Peace Symbol Turns 50

Washington Post | Paul Farhi | April 4, 2008 12:49 AM

The peace symbol -- three simple lines within a circle -- turns 50 today. It's had a colorful and often turbulent life, which is odd considering that it's supposed to symbolize, you know, peace.

Unveiled at a British ban-the-bomb rally on April 4, 1958, the peace symbol's peak of potency was in the 1960s, when it was the emblem of the anti-Vietnam War movement and all things groovily counterculture. (Said its late creator, British graphic designer Gerald Holtom: "I drew myself . . . a man in despair . . . put a circle around it to represent the world.") The symbol has marched in service of many causes over the years: civil rights, women's rights, environmentalism, gay rights, anti-apartheid, the nuclear-freeze movement and the latter-day antiwar crowd.

Peace only comes when we are at peace within ourselves.
Alan in Dyfed


FionnchĂș said...

It also comes from the Morse Code letters for at least 2:3 of CND-- the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament. The circle was added later. Not sure about the man-in-distress angle, but better than the one I heard growing up in Catholic school that it was a hippie sign borrowed from the occult, if not worse lore! Hwyl...

FionnchĂș said...

I meant semaphore, not Morse code!