The peace sign

The peace sign is a well known hippie symbol. It was designed in 1958 by British artist Gerald Holtom. Originally, it was created for use by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War. The symbol was not copyrighted; so, it began to appear all over the world. How did Gerald Holtom come to create his peace symbol design?

The two semaphore letters used are “N” which stands for “Nuclear” and “D” which stands for “Disarmament”. In semaphore, a person holds small flags in their hands and then moves their arms in various positions to communicate; “N” appears as two flags held in an upside down triangular shape, while, the “D” appears as two flags with one held straight up and the other held straight down. These two letters, minus the flags, are combined and then put into a circle; the circle represents “Global”. Thus, the peace sign is meant to be read as “Global Nuclear Disarmament”.

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