Who Invented the Peace Sign?

Who Invented the Peace Sign?

When we talk about the peace sign we would generally recall a circle with three lines inside. You are quite familiar with it if you were a child of the baby boomer generation when its use was quite prevalent. However, it wasn’t originally intended to be used a symbol for peace or a sign of peace. In fact, it wasn’t the first symbol to be used to denote peace.

Creation of the Peace Sign

A British artist by the name of Gerald Holtom is credited for creating the three-lined circle for peace. It wasn’t originally designed as a worldwide symbol for peace but was meant for another purpose. It was originally created for the nuclear disarmament movement in Britain. Holtom completed his design on February 21, 1958.

It was used in a march conducted on April fourth of that same year. The march started from Trafalgar Square in London all the way to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment. The Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War commissioned the creation of this symbol.

Adoption and Later Use

Gerald Holtom’s design was later adopted for other purposes. It was first adopted for quite similar purposes and movements. However, as it became a really popular symbol it was also adopted by other movements as well. It was later used for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Later on during the anti-war movement of the 1960’s, Holtom’s symbol was also put to use. After that, it was later used by what was then the popular counterculture.

Even Gerald Holtom would never have guessed that his design would cross oceanic borders or would be put to use for other purposes as well. His design came to the United States in the year 1958. A pacifist protester by the name of Albert Bigelow sailed a small boat into the vicinity of a nuclear test site. The boat was outfitted with Holtom’s peace sign.

By the year 1960 the peace sign button came into fashion. It was mass produced first by the Student Peace Union. Thousands of copies of this button were produced and sold on various campuses. By the end of that decade, Gerald Holtom’s peace sign has become accepted worldwide as a symbol for peace.

Meaning Behind the Peace Sign

You might wonder the meaning behind Gerald Holtom’s design. His peace sign is actually taken from semaphoric signals. He actually combined two semaphoric signals, which are for the letters ‘N’ and ‘D’ meaning nuclear disarmament. If you hold two flags downward in the form of an upside down ‘V’ that would create the semaphoric for the letter ‘N’. The ‘D’ can be formed by holding one flag pointed upwards and another pointing downwards. Combine both signals and you have Gerald Holtom’s sign.

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3 Responses to “Who Invented the Peace Sign?”

  1. Braden Castleberry says:

    Didn’t Winston Churchill invent the peace sign?

  2. Sarah says:

    “Known as the ‘peace sign’ throughout the 1960’s and into the present day, this symbol is the Teutonic rune of death. 1950’s peace advocate Gerald Holtom may have been commissioned by communist sympathiser Bertrand Russell to design a symbol to unite leftist peace marchers in 1958. It is clear that either Holtom or Russell deemed the Teutonic (Neronic) cross as the appropriate symbol for their cause.

    “Throughout the last 2,000 years this symbol has designated hatred of Christians. Nero, who despised Christians, crucified the Apostle Peter on a cross head downward. This hideous event resembled the Teutonic cross and became a popular pagan insignia of the day. Thereafter, this sign became known as the ‘Neronic cross.’

    “The symbol’s origin in history proves it to be the visual mystic character for ‘Aum’ (the split ‘Y’). This is the sacred word to the Hindu. Chanting ‘Aum’ is supposed to help awaken ‘the serpent power of Brahma’ at the base of the human spine. Occultist Albert Pike also identifies this symbol as mystical in his book on Freemasonry Morals and Dogma.

    The peace symbol (also called the “broken cross,” “crow’s foot,” “witch’s foot,” “Nero Cross,” “sign of the ‘broken Jew,'” and the “symbol of the ‘anti-Christ”’) is actually a cross with the arms broken. It also signifies the “gesture of despair,” and the “death of man.”

    “The Germanic tribes who used it attributed strange and mystical properties to the sign. Such a ‘rune’ is said to have been used by ‘black magicians’ in pagan incantations and condemnations….To this very day the inverted broken cross–identical to the socialists’ ‘peace’ symbol–is known in Germany as a ‘todersrune,’ or death rune. Not only was it ordered by Hitler’s National Socialists that it must appear on German death notices, but it was part of the official inscription prescribed for the gravestones of Nazi officers of the dread SS. The symbol suited Nazi emphasis on pagan mysticism.”

    With the arms of the cross raised in an upright position, it is “a Pythagorean emblem of the course of life, in the form of a rising path with fork roads to Good and Evil.” It also signifies fertility, but with the arms pointing downward, it denotes evil and death.

    “In fact, the inverted ‘Man-rune’–the figure encircled in the common sign which the Communists tell us means ‘peace’–has for centuries been a favourite sign of Satanists.”

    Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan, used the peace symbol as the backdrop for his altar.

    One former witch makes the following comment about the peace symbol:

    “It is an ancient and powerful symbol of Antichrist. During the dark ages it was used in Druid Witchcraft and by Satanists of all sorts during the initiation of a new member to their order. They would draw the magic circle and give the initiate a cross. The initiate would then lift the cross and turn it upside down. He would then renounce Christianity in all three dimensions (sic) of time (past, present and future) and break the horizontal pieces downward forming the design of the ‘Raven’s Foot.’ This ugly symbol is nothing short of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. For one to wear or display this symbol is to announce either knowingly or unknowingly that you have rejected Christ. Remember, symbolism is a picture language, and a picture is worth a thousand words.”

  3. Unknown says:

    Asian invented peace sign.