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Where did the peace sign come from?

It is instantly recognizable as a sign of peace, but what is the symbolism behind the peace sign? The olive branch came from ancient Greece, the dove from the bible, but where did that circle with the chicken-footprint come from?

Rewind back to 1958 when London textile designer, Gerald Holtom, wanted to create a symbol for marchers to carry on banners and signs at a "Ban the Bomb" march planned by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War (DAC). The event was Britain's first major demonstration against nuclear weapons-a 52-mile march from London to the town of Aldermaston, home to an A-bomb research center.

Members of the DAC came to the march emblazoned with Holtom’s circle-with-lines symbol; but to bystanders, its meaning was a mystery.

Nowadays we all know what the symbol stands for, but what is the meaning behind the design? Holtom created the symbol by combining the flag semaphore signals for the letters N (for nuclear) and D (for disarmament) and putting them in a circle. The symbol is essentially a logo for the concept of nuclear disarmament! Such graphic elegance!

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