The peace sign. A symbol which adorns "Made in China" pre-teen backpacks, key chains, costume jewelry and sparkly pink pajamas. In truth, the symbol's history is based in a passionate up rise against the danger and destruction of nuclear warfare.
The peace symbol itself was created in 1958 by British graphic artist Gerald Holtom. The symbol was designed in response to the organizing of a rally bringing attention to the growing worldwide stockpile of nuclear weapons. Holtom created a sketch of his original design, based on the military semaphore (flag) symbols for the letters “N” and “D” to represent Nuclear Disarmament. He later expressed that “I was in despair, 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.”
The symbol was quickly adopted by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and in the following years by supporters of the Civil Rights movement. In the 1960's, it became a strong symbol of unity against the Vietnam War. It branded a generation of youths immersed in a movement of anti-war sentiment, free love, spirituality and the right to be an individual.
The peace symbol is as meaningful today as it was back in 1958. Although some of the issues and circumstances have changed, the sentiment remains. Wear it with pride, and with intention to represent it's meaning in the way you conduct your day to day life, and in the choices you make as a citizen of your country and your world.