The History of the Peace Symbol

The “Peace” symbol was designed in 1958 by artist and designer Gerald Herbert Holtom. It was created to be used in the first protest against the AWRE (Atomic Weapons Research Establishment) near Aldermaston, UK, April, 1958. This iconic image became associated with the CND, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and has since been used over the years as a symbol for both peace as well as an emblem against tyranny and war. Gerald Holtom’s inspiration for this design came from the naval sign language of flag semaphore. N:  Nuclear, and D: Disarmament, encased within a circle; “Three Lines and a Circle”. Holtom’s design was intentionally never copyrighted and over the years it has been used as both a  mission statement as well as a fashion statement.  No matter how it is used, this “Three Lines and a Circle” design has become one of the most widely distributed and recognized symbols in the world.

Sinclair, Mark (2014).  The Untold Stories Behind 29 Classic Logos TM.  Laurence King Publishing, Ltd.


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