Friday, October 8, 2010
The anti-nuclear emblem or peace sign has become one of the most recognizable symbols in the world. In 1958, graphic designer Gerald Holtom, who was a member of Britain’s “Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND),” devised the emblem as a way of quickly telegraphing opposition to nuclear weapon development. After exploring a number of design options, Holtom settled on using the naval flag code of semaphore. He used the code letters for N and D—nuclear disarmament. In 1958, the anti-nuclear emblem had its first use in a protest demonstration against the Aldermaston facility, a British research center for the development of nuclear weapons located in Berkshire. The symbol migrated to the U.S. where it was used in civil rights marches and in anti-Vietnam-war protests (which some American soldiers referred to it as the “footprint of the great American chicken”). Deliberately never copyrighted, the symbol is still recognized in Great Britain as the logo for nuclear disarmament, but is known worldwide for peace and non-violence. No one has to pay or to seek permission before they use it. As a symbol of freedom, it is free for all. Peace-symbols are used everywhere, but I like the little one-inch, union-printed black buttons with a white symbol—the original color scheme—available HERE.