Sunday, March 23, 2008

Give Peace a Chance

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) symbol -- now universally known as the Peace symbol -- turns 50 this year. The symbol was designed for the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War (DAC), by designer Gerald Holtom in 1958, to be used in a 50-mile Easter march from Trafalgar Square, London, to atomic weapons factory at Aldermaston. The symbol combines the semaphoric signals for the letters "N" and "D" -- representing "Nuclear Disarmament." From its adoption by CND, the symbol spread to the US, then around the world -- with CND never trademarking the symbol -- leaving it free for the world to use.

50 years ago, the symbol was created to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Today the symbol is universally recognized, though its power to provoke has diminished with the loss of the baby boomers idealism. Nuclear weapons has proliferated, and the world is now threatened by rogue states with nuclear enrichment programs; a new found interest in the US to maintain its nuclear prowess; and terrorists looking to make dirty bombs. 50 years, and still, the peace symbol is still so relevant.


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