posted: April 4, 2008
Today is the 50th anniversary of the peace symbol.

Gerald Holtom originally designed it for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
The symbol itself is a combination of the semaphoric signals for the letters "N" and "D," standing for Nuclear Disarmament. In semaphore the letter "N" is formed by a person holding two flags in an upside-down "V," and the letter "D" is formed by holding one flag pointed straight up and the other pointed straight down. These two signals imposed over each other form the shape of the peace symbol. In the original design the lines widened at the edge of the circle. (Thank you wikipedia)

We often take iconic symbols like this for granted, but there are a lot of hours and energy put into the creation of something this simple.

I hope Mr. Holtom is getting residuals on this baby.

Peace out!
Harry Campbell April 4, 2008
Thanks Dale, I never even considered the origins, does make me think of that big old VW symbol on the early vw buses. Wonder if he was inspired by that? By the way, nice piece in this month's Bicycling. I've been doing the fixed gear on flat loop ride lately.
Adam McCauley April 4, 2008
Cheers to Peace! I love how it was made from those semaphores for Nuclear Disarmament. Great post Dale! I just read about all of this in Time, which is funny because I hardly ever look at Time. It had a nice Kroninger piece in it too.
Rob Dunlavey April 4, 2008
Thanks Dale. Funny (sad) that some people get it mixed up with the Mercedes Benz logo.
barry blitt April 4, 2008
Dale, Thank for posting that. I invented the ampersand [ & ] almost as long ago, though I hardly ever get credit for it.