Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Signs, Signs...Everywhere's a Sign


Prompted by a variety of comments on some recent posts, I thought I would share some tidbits on the contemporary Peace Sign.
The Peace Sign was originally designed back in 1958 by Gerald Holtom & was made popular when adopted bythe Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in Great Britain.

It is a combination of the semaphoric symbols for the letters 'N' and 'D' ...meaning Nuclear Disarmament. Semaphoric symbols come from a time before telegraphs when people, particularly the navy, would use flags to communicate at a distance. The letter 'N' would be formed when a person would stand with two flags facing downward out to the sides, kind of like an upside down 'V'. The 'D' would be formed when the two flags would be held straight up and down. Gerald Holtom thought this symbol resembled a person in despair & he fully intended it to resemble the symbol of anarchy (capital A within a circle)

Many have beleived that the symbol ☮ looks like a chicken's foot & suggest that it represents cowardliness.☮
Still more beleive that the circle represents the Earth and that the interior design as an upside down crucifix with broken arms falling towards the ground.
Even others have beleived that it is an upside down rune symbol for Life, thus reversing the meaning to Death.☮
Finally I have heard of those who beleive that the circle represents the world, the center line representing life & death and the two bottom legs representing man balanced in the midst of it all.
It is a symbol perhaps known more universally around the world than any other symbol. It has never been copyrighted/trademarked and can be used by anyone. Today it represents 'peace & love' for most people, despite it's political activist background.

....So Peace & Love To All of You!

24 comments:

sammyray said...

Ya know, I 'm amazed that I'd never heard the origins of the peace sign. Thanks for the information!!!

Anonymous said...

I think probably the cross would be the most recognized symbol, followed by the ancient "Nazi" symbol and maybe the crescent moon.... I dunno.

My 10th grade history teacher told us lots of b.s. apparently. He thought the peace symbol was meant to look like a B2 bomber....

Btw, there was a homeowner somewhere being pressed by their homeowners' association and neighbors after they put a wreath up on their door that resembles a peace sign!!!

They simply rearranged the wreath to make it look like a bullseye.

Anonymous said...

skinny, there's an article on the peace "wreath" in the NYTimes:
http://www.nytimes.com/pages/national/index.html

vicci said...

Paiger......PLEASE PLEASE e-mail me!!!!!!!! It is VERY IMPORTANT...and I need to be able to e-mail you back with a VERY urgent question???? I tried to e-mail Sas and it came back saying her e-mail was disabled....this is IMPORTANT!!!!!! love ya....

Anne said...

That was really interesting, thanks. ...yeah, I tried to post comments to Singleton's blogs but couldn't. Nothing wrong, I hope?

mist1 said...

A local woman hung a wreath on her door in the shape of a peace sign. The condo association fined her, saying that it was an anti-war demonstration.

Beerspitnight said...

Due to my recent absence of free time, I haven't been able to actively add to my random knowledge base.
So I am considering myself lucky that I broke away from doing work to check out your page - I love learning new random facts!
Thanks Teach!

Enemy of the Republic said...

And Peace to you my dear blogmate!

Anonymous said...

Never knew the history of the sign.Thanks slb for the info!It's fascinating to know that it actually was a combination of letters.Peace and love to you too Skinny!

Anonymous said...

skinny, you flatter me, thank you, but I can't skip rope like little lamb.

Orhan Kahn said...

Next to the Cross/Cruicifix the peace symbol is most definetly the most recognisable symbol of peace and love.

Funny how the most common coperate symbol, the McDonalds archs, are a symbol of destruction. Well, not funny at all. But strange nonetheless.

Deepak Gopi said...

I first thought that it was a steering:D

skinnylittleblonde said...

Sammy Ray ~ and to think it's not even 50 years old yet!

Matt~ we must be of the same generation because I had a coach that told us the same thing about the B2 bomber. I agree, the cross is probably more universally recognized, but I wonder about the nazi emblem.

Piktor ~ Thanks for the link...let there be peace over the dang peace signs!

Vicci & Anne ~ Singleton is just without a computer right now. She misses everyone & when someone posts thgere, I call her & share your words!

Mist1 ~ I am so against micro-police aka neighborhood associations.

BeerSpit~ You have one busy profession so take breaks as needed or you will burn out!

Republic ~ TY, I'll gladly take some peace ;)

Fuzzy ~ No problem...perhaps useless knowledge but interesting nonetheless.

Piktor~ Who needs to skip rope like a little lamb when you can express 100 jumps with a brush of the sable!

Orhan~ Please share about the golden arches being a symbol of destruction... I am most intriqued.

Deepak~ You are too, too funny... makes me wonder which came first the peace sign or the similarly designed steering wheel!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad people know what the sign stands for, even if they don't always get it. :)

Orhan Kahn said...

Quite simply, the Golden Arch's is a symbol to all things unwell with society. From capitalism to self-degradation. With the amount of toxins they've laid waste to the planet and human beings there is no way anyone can justify the Golden Arches being anything else but the tears of a rainbow.

Anonymous said...

Tears of a rainbow, Orhan? Damn. That's not bad. Dunkin' Donuts should hire you to work on their brand refurbishment.

Skinny--

1. The Nazi symbol (an ancient one coopted by Hitler) is supposedly all over India....

2. I wish I was from your mom's generation! Wow.

Baron Ectar said...

Peace and Love right back at ya!

Anonymous said...

I will never flash a peace sign again without being aware of it's deeper significance and I'm sure that I will always feel it to be all that much more meaningful that I may just start flashing everyone! (I mean with a peace sign.)

slaghammer said...

In the seventies, my teenage years, flashing a peace sign was the equivalent of burning the flag according to the old folks. The irony, the irony.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Just Run ~ It's amazing how young they symbol is, how well known it is world wide & how few people know its origination.

LOL, Matt. She's a beauty!

Baron~ TY! I'll gladly take peace & love anytime!

BBE~ I often use that in traffic when suffering slight road rage. Other driver sees a peace sign, but they don't hear my words ' yeah-here's two fingers bud...take your pick, one is for you' lol

Slag~ Historically it has definitely represented some different things. I seem to remember hearing an old timer (back in the 70's) saying that the peace sign toters were into free-love & smoking pot.

Pixie said...

Interesting post. I remember the days of CND I wore their badges too.

slaghammer said...

I'm pretty sure everyone was into free love and pot smoking in the seventies. It was a great time to be alive, what with the cold war and all.

skinnylittleblonde said...

free love & potsmoking, cocaine & the pill....

Anonymous said...

I think I love you, SLB.