A number of peace symbols have been used in various cultures and contexts, one of the most ancient being the olive branch. The symbol of the dove and olive branch was used by early Christians and was later adopted as a secular symbol. It was popularized by Pablo Picasso in 1949 and became widely used in the post-war peace movement. In the 20th century the peace sign was adopted by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. The V hand signal and the peace flag became international peace symbols.
The Olive branch has been used as a symbol for peace and goodwill for thousands of years. The symbolism is related to the biblical story of Noah and the great flood. Noah sends out a dove to find and bring back evidence of dry land. The dove returns with a olive leaf in its beak, as proof that the flood had subsided.
The story of Noah could be used to show the struggle between Man and God. God has sent a flood to destroy all but the best of Mankind, and sending the dove with the olive leaf is Gods way of telling Mankind [Noah] that the war or struggle between them is over.
Doves: Known for love, passion, and life. According to the story of Jesus’ Baptism, the Holy Spirit became a dove and flew down to Jesus, and consequently, “This is the usual symbol for the Spirit of God.” Thus, during the canonization ceremony of Christian saints, white doves are released to represent the soul rising to heaven, according to Symbols Of Church Seasons And Days (1997) by John Bradner. However, like many symbols, this latter Christian meaning stems from an older tradition. Doves also symbolize sexuality and lust as Aphrodite’s familiar, the symbolic bird of lust in India, and the Syrian Dove-goddess, consort to the Snake-God. According to The Woman’s Encyclopedia Of Myths And Secrets (1983),by Barbara Walker, the dove is “Aphrodite’s totem, the bird of sexual passion, symbolically equivalent to the yoni… joined to her consort the phallic serpent, the Dove-goddess... [continues]
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