Shasta Visions


SSL Certificates

Marbles, Globes & Gifts
International Peace Sign History E-mail

In honor of the International Peace Symbol, we
present this brief history of it's creation and expansion:


The Peace Symbol was originally used for the Direct Action Committee Against
Nuclear War (DAC) and was adopted as its badge by the Campaign for Nuclear
Disarmament (CND) in Britain, and originally was used by the British nuclear
disarmament movement. It was subsequently adopted as an international emblem
for the 1960s anti-war movement, and was also adopted by the counterculture
of the time. It was designed and completed February 21, 1958 by Gerald
Holtom, a professional designer and artist in Britain for the April 4 march
planned by DAC from Trafalgar Square, London to the Atomic Weapons Research
Establishment at Aldermaston in England. The symbol itself is a combination
of the semaphoric signals for the letters "N" and "D," standing for Nuclear
Disarmament. In semaphore the letter "N" is formed by a person holding two
flags in an upside-down "V," and the letter "D" is formed by holding one
flag pointed straight up and the other pointed straight down. These two
signals imposed over each other form the shape of the peace symbol.

The peace symbol flag first became known in the United States in 1958 when
Albert Bigelow, a pacifist protester, sailed his small boat outfitted with
the CND banner into the vicinity of a nuclear test. The peace symbol button
was imported into the United States in 1960 by Philip Altbach, a freshman at
the University of Chicago, who traveled to England to meet with British
peace groups as a delegate from the Student Peace Union (SPU). Altbach
purchased a bag of the "chickentrack" buttons while he was in England, and
brought them back to Chicago, where he convinced SPU to reprint the button
and adopt it as its symbol. Over the next four years, SPU reproduced and
sold thousands of the buttons on college campuses. By the late 1960s, the
peace symbol had become an international symbol adopted by anti-war
protestors of the Baby Boomer generation. Today, it is still recognized
worldwide as the most universal symbol for Peace.  May it become a reality
around the World someday soon......