The Peace Symbol

The Peace Symbol

I grew up in the 1970s, when Chick tracts were all the rage. One (or more) of these indicate that the universal peace symbol is an upside-down broken cross, meant to be Satanic and specifically geared to witchcraft.

A few months ago, I did a bit of a study on the symbol. I discovered this:

There are differing accounts of how the symbol came to be designed. According to Christopher Driver, who wrote about CND in a 1964 book, The Disarmers, Holtom brought the design, unsolicited, to the chairperson of his local anti-nuclear group in Twickenham and alternative versions were shown at the inaugural meeting of the London CND.[6] Driver wrote, “The first mark on paper, according to Mr Holtom, was a white circle within a black square, followed by various versions of the Christian cross within the circle. But the cross, for these people, had too many wrong associations – with the Crusaders, with military medals, with the public blessing by an American chaplain of the plane that flew to Hiroshima – and eventually …[became] the composite basic semaphore signal for the letters N and D, and at the same time a gesture of human despair against the background of a round globe. Eric Austen, who adapted the symbol for Holtom’s waterproof “lollipops” on sticks to ceramic lapel badges, is said to have “discovered that the ‘gesture of despair’ motif had long been associated with ‘the death of man’, and the circle with ‘the unborn child’.”[6] According to CND, Holtom was invited by the DAC to design artwork for the Aldermaston March. He showed his preliminary sketches to a DAC meeting in February 1958 at the Peace News offices in North London.[7]

The logo was not copyrighted and later became known in the wider world as a general-purpose peace symbol.[8][9] The design was a combination of the letters “N” (two arms outstretched pointing down at 45 degrees) and “D” (one arm upraised above the head) of the flag semaphore alphabet, standing for nuclear disarmament.


Assuming the information above is accurate, calling it a Satanic symbol seems illogical, since the man had desired to use a Christian cross for the symbol. That logic would look like this:

“I want to use a Christian cross to signify peace.
People have a problem with me using a Christian cross.
Therefore, I will use a Satanic symbol.”

There is no reasonable person who would follow that train of thought and believe that it makes sense.

If someone has legitimate information that indicates the origins were otherwise than stated by the original designer, I would be happy to look at it.

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