Thursday, April 3, 2008


Peace Man! The rallying cry of the 60's. But, when was the peace symbol actually created and by whom? Well believe it or not the peace symbol turns 50 this year!! I turned 50 a few months ago, and this is my 50th post so I thought I would take this opportunity and use today's post to celebrate Peace and the Peace Symbol.

Many symbols of peace have been used throughout history such as the Biblical references to the dove and the olive branch. During World War 1, a broken rifle came to symbolize war resistance.

Italy began using a rainbow coloured flag with the word "PACE" (Italian for peace and derived from the Latin word "pax") in 1961 during a peace rally. The popularity of this flag has increased in recent years especially since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

"The "V-sign", also called the "peace sign" and the "victory sign," is a hand gesture with the index and middle fingers open and all others closed, facing the viewer. Originally strictly a sign for victory, it developed into a peace sign during protests against the Vietnam War (and subsequent anti-war protests) and by the counterculture as a sign of peace. Because the hippies of the day often flashed this sign (palm out) while vocalizing "Peace", it became popularly known through association as the peace sign. Originally, however, its symbolic meaning was love; signing "love" and saying "peace" was a hippie anthem and mutual greeting."

The peace symbol we are the most familiar with was completed on February 21, 1958. "Gerald Holtom, a designer and former World War II conscientious objector from West London, persuaded DAC that their aims would have greater impact if they were conveyed in a visual image. The "Ban the Bomb" symbol was born.
He considered using a Christian cross motif but, instead, settled on using letters from the semaphore - or flag-signalling - alphabet, super-imposing N (uclear) on D (isarmament) and placing them within a circle symbolising Earth.
The sign was quickly adopted by CND.
" (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament )
The new peace symbol made its public debut at a peace rally on Good Friday April 4, 1958.

Less than a decade later it was adopted by the anti-war movement and the counterculture of the 1960's and has since become an international icon for peace.

If only world peace could be as quickly and widely accepted as the peace symbol.
Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
words and music by Ed McCurdy
Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war

I dreamed I saw a mighty room
Filled with women and men
And the paper they were signing said
They'd never fight again

And when the paper was all signed
And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads
And grateful pray'rs were prayed

And the people in the streets below
Were dancing 'round and 'round
While swords and guns and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground

Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd never dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war.

You can find a copy of this song performed by "The Weavers" for download at;
Peace, my friends!

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