October 7, 2012

The peace sign…I’ll bet you know it. But do you know its history?

Designed by Gerald Holtom in 1958 – for the British nuclear disarmament movement. The symbol combines two semaphoric signals for the letters “N” and “D,” which stand for Nuclear Disarmament.

Albert Bigelow, a pacifist protester, introduced the peace symbol to the U.S. when he sailed his small boat (flying the peace flag) near a nuclear test in 1958.

Philip Altbach, student at the University of Chicago, imported the peac symbol to the U.S. In 1960, Altbach attended a meeting of peace groups in England. While there, he bought a bag of “chickentrack” buttons and took them back to Chicago. Albtach convinced his own Student Peace Union to adopt the graphic as its own symbol.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Filed under: Social Commentary


About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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