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The Peace Symbol is 50 Today

Time really flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it?

For 50 Years This Has Been the Symbol Of Peace. Far Out
By Paul Farhi
Friday, April 4, 2008

The peace symbol — three simple lines within a circle — turns 50 today. It’s had a colorful and often turbulent life, which is odd considering that it’s supposed to symbolize, you know, peace.

Unveiled at a British ban-the-bomb rally on April 4, 1958, the peace symbol’s peak of potency was in the 1960s, when it was the emblem of the anti-Vietnam War movement and all things groovily counterculture. (Said its late creator, British graphic designer Gerald Holtom: “I drew myself . . . a man in despair . . . put a circle around it to represent the world.”) The symbol has marched in service of many causes over the years: civil rights, women’s rights, environmentalism, gay rights, anti-apartheid, the nuclear-freeze movement and the latter-day antiwar crowd.

[Update] And on it’s 10th birthday, Martin Luther King was killed.

19 Responses

  1. Good Morning katiebird.

    Isn’t it funny that a symbol representing peace could provoke such violent reactions from Americans during the Vietman War and beyond.

  2. I bought a ring with the peace symbol in 2003, around the time the war was gearing up. I decided to wear it daily until the U.S. gets out of Iraq. I fear at this rate my niece will have to bury me with it.

  3. Sorry OT but Ill go ahead anyways.

    MyDD News Jump story snippet has:

    http://mydd.com/story/2008/4/4/8308/17026#commenttop

    Republicans continue to engage in vote supression and blame it on non-existent fraud.

    (link disabled: find the mydd link here: http://www.alternet.org/democracy/81016/ )

    Democrats used to have the high ground on voter enfranchisement, but not anymore with our own problems with MI and FL.

    Let me add to the News Jump here:

    Obama/DNC continue to engage in vote supression and cite the rules.

    Where’s the outrage from the so called “progressive” blogosphere. Are they complaining about Republican voter disenfranchisement because of principles or because it hurts a Dem’s chances in November?

  4. MyDD News Jump story snippet has:

    http://mydd.com/story/2008/4/4/8308/17026#commenttop

    Republicans continue to engage in vote supression and blame it on non-existent fraud. (link disabled)

    Democrats used to have the high ground on voter enfranchisement, but not anymore with our own problems with MI and FL.

    Let me add to the News Jump here:

    Obama/DNC continue to engage in vote supression and cite the rules.

    Where’s the outrage from the so called “progressive” blogosphere. Are they complaining about Republican voter disenfranchisement because of principles or because it hurts a Dem’s chances in November?

  5. katiebird,
    I have a huge peace symbol on the exterior wall around my yard. Some graffitti taggers had done their normal crap and while covering it, we found the opportunity to turn the whilte paint circle into a peace sign. It is faded now and I have been thinking of repainting the entire wall and covering it, but I think instead I will redo the peace sign in honor of it”s creator and it’s birthday. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. When I was a kid I attended a fundie church. They taught us that the peace symbol was Satanic (an upside-down, broken cross)

    And they called Jesus “The Prince of Peace.” Go figure.

  7. Wikipedia has a bit more detail of origins. “The original drawing of the CND is housed in the Peace Museum, U.K.[6] in Bradford, England, where a replica is on public display.”

    Most of my life has been taken up by the civil war between the peace symbol tribe and the happyface tribe.

    Down with Up with People!

    Peace.

  8. Peace symbol! Martin Luther King! My visceral dislike of Rightwingers!

    I think it’s time for me to take tour through some prominent archives.

    Will Herberg, “‘Civil Rights’ and Violence: Who Are the Guilty Ones?”, The National Review Sept. 7th, 1965

    “For years now, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his associates have been deliberately undermining the foundations of internal order in this country. With their rabble-rousing demagoguery, they have been cracking the “cake of custom” that holds us together. With their doctrine of “civil disobedience,” they have been teaching hundreds of thousands of Negroes — particularly the adolescents and the children — that it is perfectly alright to break the law and defy constituted authority if you are a Negro-with-a-grievance; in protest against injustice. And they have done more than talk. They have on occasion after occasion, in almost every part of the country, called out their mobs on the streets, promoted “school strikes,” sit-ins, lie-ins, in explicit violation of the law and in explicit defiance of the public authority. They have taught anarchy and chaos by word and deed — and, no doubt, with the best of intentions — and they have found apt pupils everywhere, with intentions not of the best. Sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.”

  9. Happy b-day peace symbol.

  10. Clintons Release Tax Returns for 2000-2007

    They paid $33 million in federal taxes and gave over $10 million to charity during this period.

    So much for all the people who were salivating at the prospect of outing the Clintons as tax cheats.

    http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/returns/

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/04/clintons-income-tops-109-million/index.html?hp

  11. Wow! If I had just $1 million, I could probably live the rest of my life on it.

  12. http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/04/clinton-teh-gayz.html

    Post about promises Hillary has made to provide as much equality for gay couples as possible.

    Kinda brave of her, seems to me. I’m impressed not just by what she said but that she said it.

  13. Via Taylor Marsh, last night some big Democratic donors met with Howard Dean in NY, and there were fireworks. Clinton donors put Dean on the defensive about MI and FL and some of them were really angry at him and the DNC.

    http://www.observer.com/2008/clinton-donors-press-dean-fifth-avenue-bundler-summit

    After Dean’s initial remarks, Bernard Bergreen, a Hillary bundler, rose and said that Dean’s address left out any discussion of Michigan and Florida, which was the critical bone of contention between the two campaigns.

    Dean said that in his view, the question could be settled only after the primaries had finished in June, and after the superdelegates had made their decision.

    At that point Clinton campaign finance chair Hassan Nemazee spoke up. He said Dean’s response sounded to him as if the DNC chairman were “essentially trying to kick the can down the road” and that the chairman was not exhibiting the type of leadership one would expect. Nemazee said that since the campaigns obviously could not reach a solution on their own before June, Dean’s argument amounted to passing the buck.

    http://www.observer.com/2008/more-clinton-donors-versus-dean/

    And it got worse from there…

  14. BB: What a mess. Dems were supposed to have the upper hand this cycle.

    Considering how high emotions are, I I can understand Dean trying to sound as impartial as possible (although I do not think he truly is). However, lately every time he opens his mouth, yours truly is finding the Nader/Gonzalez 08 option more and more appealing…

    Let’s see what happens in the next few weeks. I’ll have to wait and see before I make up my mind.

  15. I’ve had, and worn, a peace symbol necklace since I worked for Gene McCarthy. weirdly, after 9-11, I was afraid to wear it in public, particularly when I flew. that’s kind of pathetic.

    but now I’m back to wearing it along with a couple of bracelets I’ve picked up more recently. I like it – it’s simple and communicates a positive thought.

    I never thought I’d see a time in this country when I was afraid to go on record as being for peace. then again, there’s a lot I’ve seen recently that I never thought I’d see.

  16. chris, I keep thinking about my first Peace Symbol. A friend in Junior High gave it to me in 1966. It was on a little one-inch button. It was a dayglo orange symbol on a black background. I loved it.

    But we moved (from California to Kansas) and it got lost along the way.

    I wonder where I could find another?

  17. Katie, I’ll keep an eye out for one for you. I recently bought a hat at a thrift shop, didn’t really like the hat, but it had a cool peace sign button attached and that’s why I bought it 🙂

    oh, and there’s a website that sells them, I’ll find the link……

    in the meantime, have y’all seen this hillary video with the dixie chicks’ song “not ready to make nice’? nice video:

  18. nice buttons, etc. here: http://www.peacebuttons.info/orderpp.htm

  19. Chris!! Thanks I ordered 10 buttons and a lapel pin set. I had to stop, I could have picked 10 more things.

    Thanks for sharing that link.

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