the birth and life of the peace symbol,
which became 50 years old in 2008.
of the symbol
first famous person to use the peace symbol was pacifist Bertrand
Russell. His group, The Committee for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)
used it during a protest march in 1958 for nuclear disarmament in
Aldermaston, England. Activist Gerald Holtom, who designed the symbol
based it on the international semaphore alphabet. This system uses
flag signals in place of letters like a code. The peace sign is
actually the flag signals
N and D superimposed
upon each other and it stands for Nuclear Disarmament.
has since become the international symbol for peace.
first peace symbol badges were made by Eric Austin of Kensington,
England CND in 1958 using white clay with the symbol painted black.
They were distributed with a note explaining that in the event
of a nuclear war, these fired pottery badges would be among the
few human artifacts to survive the nuclear inferno.
to right: first ceramic CND badge, early tin badge, current badge.
symbol badge available from peacebuttons.info
of the first known uses of the peace symbol
the U.S. by the Student Peace Union (1960-61)
a look... (pdf)
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people are saying about the buttons
had our fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders on Tuesday and Wednesday.
sold a number of peace buttons (for $1 each), etc. for a total of
were so excited!" -
R.G. Lexington, KY
just wanted to let you know that I received the buttons, etc. yesterday.
really like them a lot, and the sign, postcards, everything is wonderful.
I've been handing them out to
friends and they really appreciate them. We all understand what
solidarity means, and it's great to
that there are thoughtful caring people out there all over the map
as you have proven.
think this is a great project, keep up the great work!
from Mississauga, Ontario
really like the way it looks classy and appropriate for men,
women and children
I like the union logo.
been wearing mine daily and would like to order some for our local
peace action group."
-from Fresno, CA
little button with a BIG message