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Peace Sign: The Most Awesome Symbol Ever

Peace Sign: The Most Awesome Symbol Ever

50 years had passed. Another 100 will pass and there is always going to be someone who is wondering what is that mark standing for. It started life as the emblem of the British anti-nuclear movement but it has become an international sign for peace, and arguably the most widely used protest symbol in the world. It has also been adapted, attacked and commercialised.Many people have speculated on just what the symbol represents; some religious zealots even claim it signifies Christ on the cross with arms broken, or a Teutonic rune representing death and despair. But the truth is not so mysterious.

What does it mean?

One of the most widely known symbols in the world, in Britain it is recognised as standing for nuclear disarmament —and in particular as the logo of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). It was designed from the naval code of semaphore, and the symbol represents the code letters for ND which means Nuclear Disarmament.The circle, representing the concept of total or complete, surrounds the N and D signifying total or complete nuclear disarmament.

In the United States and much of the rest of the world it is known more broadly as the peace symbol. It was designed in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a professional designer and artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Arts. He showed his preliminary sketches to a small group of people in the Peace News office in North London and to the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War, one of several smaller organisations that came together to set up CND.

The Direct Action Committee had already planned what was to be the first major anti-nuclear march, from London to Aldermaston, where British nuclear weapons were and still are manufactured. It was on that march, over the 1958 Easter weekend that the symbol first appeared in public. Five hundred cardboard lollipops on sticks were produced. Half were black on white and half white on green. Just as the church’s liturgical colours change over Easter, so the colours were to change, “from Winter to Spring, from Death to Life.” Black and white would be displayed on Good Friday and Saturday, green and white on Easter Sunday and Monday.

The first badges were made by Eric Austin of Kensington CND using white clay with the symbol painted black. Again there was a conscious symbolism. They were distributed with a note explaining that in the event of a nuclear war, these fired pottery badges would be among the few human artifacts to survive the nuclear inferno. These early ceramic badges can still be found and one, lent by CND, was included in the Imperial War Museum’s 1999/2000 exhibition ”From the Bomb to the Beatles”.

Later, in a letter, Holtom also admitted that the symbol reflected his mood at the time. “I was in despair,” he wrote. “Deep despair. I drew myself: the representative of an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goya’s peasant before the firing squad. I formalized the drawing into a line and put a circle around it.”

American journalist and playwright Herb Greer adds support for the Holtom explanation. He reported, “I was actually there on and before the first Aldermaston march for which it was created. I visited Holtom, I saw the original sketches and discussed it with him.”

Ken Kolsbun, author of the book Peace: The Biography of a Symbol, reported that Holtom expressed regret in not designing the peace symbol with the joyful lifting of arms towards the sky. For most of Holtom’s life he would draw only the upright peace symbol. Holtom requested that the upright peace symbol be placed on his tombstone in Kent, England. If we take a look on  the picture of his tombstone, we’ll see that  his wish was unfortunately ignored.

While it appears reasonable that the modern day peace symbol comes from Gerald Holtom, this logic fails to address the fact that the symbol has been used for evil both in modern times and for thousands of years.

This same symbol was used by Hitler’s 3rd Panzer Division from 1941 to 1945.  The image on the left is the regimental 3rd Panzer Division symbol. Soviet, Polish, and Hungarian citizens, having suffered from the Nazi massacres, undoubtedly struggled with Holtom’s use of the symbol as a thoughtful way to communicate peace. The symbol can also be found on some of Hitler’s SS soldiers’ tombstones.

Another flaw in the Holtom creation story is the use of the symbol as an anti-Christian symbol by the Saracens as early as 711 A.D.For the Saracens, the image placed on their shields symbolized the breaking of the Christian cross. For some the broken cross was equated to a satanic symbol known as the raven’s craw or witch’s foot. While Holtom may not have known the historical meaning of the peace symbol, Bertrand Russell was a historian and member of the Fabian Society. A 1970 article in the American Opinion magazine claimed Russell knew the historical occult meaning and intentionally selected an “anti-Christian design long associated with Satanism.”

The fifth and final Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, Nero (born Lucius Domitius Ahenabarbus 37 – 68 AD), is remembered in history for persecuting Christians. Nero’s rule was so wicked he even had his mother executed. The First Roman-Jewish War (66 – 70 AD) started during his reign and today the term “Nero Cross” is the symbol of the “broken Jew” or “broken cross.” The most famous person believed to be crucified by Nero was the Apostle Peter. To symbolize humility and unworthiness in comparison to Christ, Peter requested that he be crucified with his head toward the ground. As a result of Peter’s death the upside down cross was used by early Christians as a positive symbol for peace.

The symbol of the upside down cross changes its meaning when the person on the upside down cross is no longer Peter but Jesus. Anti-religious and satanic groups use the “Nero Cross” or inverted “Latin Cross” to symbolize everything opposite of Christianity. Today this is clearly illustrated by “black metal” or heavy metal music lyrics and imagery that communicate anti-Christian sentiments.  In addition to musicians, film makers have reinforced the notion that the upside down cross is an anti-Christian symbol as illustrated by The Omen in 1976 and The Exorcism of Emily Rose in 2005.

The symbol has also been used to communicate support for communism. Bertrand Russell once said: “There is no hope in anything but the Soviet way.” Governments–both those who supported communism and those opposed to it–have perceived benefits in aligning the peace symbol with communist ideology. For people like Bertrand Russell, the author of the 1927 essay Why I Am Not Christian, the symbol represented not only a pro-communism meaning but peace without God.

CND has never registered the sign as a trademark, arguing that “a symbol of freedom, it is free for all”. It has now appeared on millions of mugs, T-shirts, rings and nose-studs. Bizarrely, it has also made an appearance on packets of Lucky Strike cigarettes.A decade ago, the sign was chosen during a public vote to appear on a US commemorative postage stamp saluting the 1960s.The symbol that helped define a generation of baby boomers may not be as widely used today as in the past. It is in danger of becoming to many people a retro fashion item, although the Iraq war has seen it re-emerge with something like its original purpose.

“It is still the dominant peace sign,” argues Lawrence Wittner, an expert on peace movements at the University at Albany in New York.”Part of that is down to its simplicity. It can be used as a shorthand for many causes because it can be reproduced really quickly – on walls on floors, which is important, in say, repressive societies.”

And can its success be measured? Fifty years on, wars have continued to be waged and the list of nuclear-armed states has steadily lengthened.But the cup is half-full as well as half empty.

“There are many ways in which nuclear war has been prevented,” says Mr Wittner. “The hawks say that the reason nuclear weapons have not been used is because of the deterrent. But I believe popular pressure has restrained powers from using them and helped curbed the arms race.And the symbol of and inspiration for that popular pressure, says Mr Wittner, is Mr Holtom’s graphic.

“Today because many people carry the symbol without understanding the history, we miss an opportunity to address historical uses and move forward to reclaim the symbol for good.When you see the peace symbol, I encourage you to see the person displaying it as communicating a message of love.If you display the peace symbol, my recommendation is point the arms of the peace symbol toward the sky to honor Holtom’s wish, address historical objections, and communicate love of all people.”Dave Dionisi, Teach Peace Foundation

Information and images sources : 1 2 3 4 5 6

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  • Soedoro Soetanto

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  • Soedoro Soetanto

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    Soendoro Soetanto

  • Ivan Opinion

    It's a really nice story, but you left out the most important, most recent part.
    Anton LaVey, founder of the Satanic “Church” of America, supposedly invented the thing.
    He allegedly said, “There will be no peace until the cross of Christ is overturned and broken.”
    He allegedly did just that in art form then circled it, and hid it behind the black curtain he only pulled back during satanic worship with the likes of Jayne Mansfield, who incidentally was accidentally beheaded during a car accident. Truth? You tell me. But I have nothing to do with it since I heard this. “Avoid even the appearance of evil.” – Jesus

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  • SupportMcCarthyism

    Exactly. You wrote what I was going to.

  • Jeff Callahan

    The Real Peace sign it a Cross put upside down with the sides broken so you can be “At peace” with your sin.. Everything the Liberals or Left wing wants is because of satan wants it as well..

  • colonel marstellar

    The peace (demonic) symbol Is directly from 1966 when diabolical infiltraters started the hippie movement and introduced their diabolical drugs into society as a norm for young people. Being Hip was in and then those fools declared that God was dead… 1966 jine 6 of 1966 .. 666.. Then the peace symbol became normal with the daily attire worn by the hippies all over the united stayes. Our country has bewn in a downward spiral ever since. I forbade my own of wearing any thing relative to the broken inverted cross!! Wasnt long after 1966 that in the early 70s abortion became the law of the land theu roe v wade. And then the dear feminist.movement was also born. That was part of the devils plan to desteoy the family a mom a dad and children. Now it was popular to be unfaithful to your spouse. Whether man or woman. Free sex. Indidelitys with consciences drowned out with new drugs and alcohol. If a man said anything he was labelled a male chauvanist pig!! Women were now free.. Divorces started.. Families destroyed .. And its been a downward spiral ever since. Except for those men and women who now believe that a marriage with monogomy is rhe most rewarding of choices in life. Yes indeed ever since the 60s the devil has had his hour destroying and laying waste because of his temptations to go against Gods natural order of things. We need to push back and regain our heritage!! And go back to common sense. They always speak of progress.. Obamas clintons. Etc they all talk of progress. Without ever explaining where we are progressing too???? Where we headed?? I kmow where.. Its a dead end. To progress to the demise of the human race. What thru GMOs ..radiation flooding from fukushima.. BP oil spilled in the gulf with consequential chemical dispersants that are cancer causing. Ti a very toxic spill in west virginia. Here lately.. Chem trails.. Polluted drinking water that even if it were clean they add stanisodium flouride and chlorine and other chems. To make it healthy?? To drink?? Yeaa the dather of lies has decieved even many of the elect into the destruction od humaniry at large!! The great fallung away from God is the reason this has happened!! We need a real revival ad a return to God almighty!! It worked before. And it will work again. Its up to us. In Jesus name lets Reclaim!! Our land and our freedoms in Jesus name amen!!

  • JeromefromLayton

    There is a modified form popular on Air Force bases with four double engine pods and a tail making it look like a B-52. Peace through Strength.

  • the Spanish Inquisition

    It’s the death rune as well as an upside down broken cross, nice try though.

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