Friday, October 1, 2010
We all know the peace sign, we've all seen it, especially when there are wars going on. When you see a peace sign your first thought (well mine anyway) is 1960's, Vietnam War, Protests, people speaking out and actually caring for what's going on around them. I've always kind of considered myself a hippie born too late and taken over by today's current technological advances with an urge to try to make a difference but not having what it takes to start that kind of movement. If that makes any sense at all (haha.)
Now what you might not know, which I didn't until I came across this article today, is where the peace sign came from. Who made it, and why? I've always wondered if it was just created as a sign of peace or if there was a deeper meaning behind it. Of course I never really looked into it before or else I wouldn't just now be discovering this today.
The peace sign was designed in 1958 by a London textile designer, Gerald Holtom. He was trying to create a symbol he could put on banners that marchers were going to carry in a "ban the bomb" march which would be Britain's first major demonstration against nuclear weapons. The symbol is actually the letters "N" and "D" taken from flag semaphore signals, which is an alphabet signaling system that was once used for distant communication in the maritime world in the early 19th century. The letters "N" and "D" were used for the words Nuclear and Disarmament, and then put in a circle to create the peace sign we all know and use frequently still today. In 1960 the peace sign was imported into the U.S. via a peace sign button brought from the UK by Philip Altbach, reshman at the University of Chicago.. The symbol was around before but once the Student Peace Union was convinced by Philip Altbach to adopt the symbol it grew rapidly. By the late 1960's the symbol was adopted by anti-war protesters.