Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Peace Symbol originated in Britain during the 1950's anti-nuclear weapons protests

Originally uploaded by roylombardi.

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). 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.

This background, from a site with the UC Berkely library , also says:

The symbol almost at once crossed the Atlantic. Bayard Rustin, a close associate of Martin Luther King had come over from the US in order to take part in that first Aldermaston March. He took the symbol back to the United States where it was used on civil rights marches. Later it appeared on anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and was even seen daubed in protest on their helmets by American GIs. Simpler to draw than the Picasso peace dove, it became known, first in the US and then round the world as the peace symbol. It appeared on the walls of Prague when the Soviet tanks invaded in 1968, on the Berlin Wall, in Sarajevo and Belgrade, on the graves of the victims of military dictators from the Greek Colonels to the Argentinian junta, and most recently in East Timor.