The History of the Peace Sign
The peace sign or peace symbol is one of the best known universal representations of peace. The
history of the peace sign has deep roots and It has been used
by many different cultures and countries for centuries. Originally, the peace symbol was adopted by the British
nuclear disarmament movement for the badge of the campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
It was designed by Gerald Holtom—a member of the British
nuclear disarmament movement. Before he came up with this particular design for the peace sign, he wanted to
do the Christian cross in a circle as the motif for the march.
However, this idea was quickly frowned upon by many Christian priests, as they found it
offensive that the cross would be used in a protest march. So, instead, Gerald Holtom decided to incorporate the
semaphore letters ‘N’ and ‘D’, which stood for Nuclear Disarmament.
The semaphore ‘N’ is made when a man stands with two flags and holds them away from his body and
down at his side to an upside down ‘V’ shape.
The semaphore ‘D’ is made when a man stands with two flags, one pointed straight up and one
pointed straight down. The semaphore alphabet was used as a flagging system in various organizations of people. You
will very rarely hear about the semaphore alphabet now a days, but it was very popular back then.
Once the design of this symbol was completed, it was very quickly recognized as a symbol of
peace. In World War 2, the peace sign was used for Hitler’s troops who died at battle. This peace symbol was found upon each and every one of their
graves, which was then called ‘The Dead Man’s Rune’.
Since the war, the peace sign was very seldom seen again. When it was seen, it was seen on
graves or small flags, but it wasn’t as popular as it was before and during the war. In the USA in the 1960s,
however, the hippies revived it in the anti-war movement. It was imported into the United States by Philip Altbach,
a freshman at the University of Chicago.
He travelled to England to attend a peace meeting with the British, and while he was there, he
bought ‘Chicktrack’ buttons. On these buttons, there was a very small peace sign hidden in the design. Philip
Altbach recognized this sign as the symbol of peace and brought it back to Chicago.
After he introduced it to the rest of society, it became Chicago’s symbol of peace and then,
soon enough, the rest of the states adopted the symbol as well.
They wore the peace symbol with pride, and made a big statement. And now, years later, we still
know what this symbol means. And now, with a little bit more knowledge of what, exactly, this symbol stands for,
you can wear the newest fashion trend and be proud to be standing up for something great.
Wear your peace sign
earrings with pride!