Happy 59th Birthday, Peace Symbol!
“Children of today easily identify it. They may not know its original meaning, but they know it stands for good things – be nice to friends, be kind to animals, no fighting. This is a marvelous achievement for Gerald Holtom’s simple design. Peoples around the world have marched with it, worn it, displayed it during combat, held it high on banners, and been arrested in its name. Ask any man, woman or child, ‘What one thing would everyone in the world want more than anything else?’ The answer would surely be world peace.’”
Ken Kolsbun, Peace: The Biography of a Symbol
on this day of walking into the unknown through a field of despair, a day when peace is so called for, it is a beautiful synchrony that it’s the re-birthday of peace…
Gerald Holtom, an artist and conscientious objector, created the Peace Symbol on February 21,1958. According to Christopher Driver, author of The Disarmers: A Study in Protest, Holtom created the design and then brought it to an organizer of a local British peace group. After several revisions, it was unveiled publicly on Good Friday of that year, by anti-nuclear demonstrators — the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) — who marched 50 miles from London’s Trafalgar Square to the weapons factory at Aldermaston. It was the first Ban-the-Bomb March.
When Gerald Holtom, a British designer and former World War II conscientious objector, sat down at his drawing board fifty-nine years ago, he was in almost total despair. He later told the editor of Peace News: ‘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 round it symbolizing Earth.”
Welcome “International Peace Symbol Day.” May we continue hoisting peace proudly everywhere weaving the remedy for despair… Peace Out!