17, August, 2011
Peace be known
Peace. A word used for centuries and that has been represented by a multitude of symbols. The most commonly used symbol in this day and age for the word peace is a simple circle bisected vertically. Two smaller lines extend downward from the bottom third of the central line at approximately 60 degree angles and connect to the circle. The symbol is occasionally referred by Christian evangelists as a broken upside down cross inside a circle. This symbol is recognized worldwide but how many people know the history of this symbol or know how it came to be? A brief history for the various types of symbols used to represent peace starts in Greece. According to many historians the oldest known symbol for peace is the use of olive branches found in the 5th century Greek arts. Greek plays, poems and even the coins they produced made references to the olive branch as representing peace. Christians then took this symbol of an olive branch from the Pagans and added their own twist by having a dove carry an olive branch and this new representation for peace had since been used within that religion. Many other symbols such as white poppies used in Europe, paper cranes and fire in Japan and even the Hindu swastika have been used historically to represent peace. In 1921 the WRI (War Resisters International) used a symbol of two hands breaking a riffle in half as a symbol of peace yet research shows that this particular image was used at least 20 years prior to mean the very same thing, peace. Later in 1958 Gerald Holmon created the symbol that is currently used and globally recognized for peace as a means to express Nuclear Disarmament. Designed for a march that took place in Aldermastion England to support the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Gerald Holmon made a combination of the semaphore letters for N and D and placed it inside a circle. To better visualize this, understand that the...
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