Friday, July 11, 2014

Bling Jewelry for Peace

The peace sign might be the most recognized symbol in the world, but how many of us know its meaning?  It has helped galvanize peace movements since the 60’s, with the Vietnam war ending earlier than it otherwise would. 

Last year, England refused to go to war against Syria, despite intense American pressure on her to join its mad coalition to attack yet another sovereign nation. 

 In the end, Mr. Cameron received a major egg-in-the-face moment for his pains. The peace sign was again used in massive demonstrations outside parliament, contributing to its decision against another war based on falsehood.

So where does the sign spring from? It was actually created by British artist Gerald Holtom in 1958 for the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War (DAC) during their march on the British Atomic Weapons Research Establishment.  It was subsequently adopted by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK, which became the first step towards its universal popularity.  Later on it was brought to the United States where activists adopted it in its own civil rights marches.  Instead of being just a symbol for nuclear disarmament, it became a general sign for anti-war protestors.

There was much thought and effort put into designing the peace symbol.  Ironically, it was based on military semaphoric signals used in battlefield communication.  Holtom used the symbols for “N” and “D”, standing for Nuclear Disarmament.    It is important for us to understand what we are supporting in wearing it or displaying it on accessories.  The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament had this to say about the use of the peace sign:  “Although specifically designed for the anti-nuclear movement it has quite deliberately never been copyrighted. No one has to pay or to seek permission before they use it. A symbol of freedom, it is free for all. This of course sometimes leads to its use, or misuse, in circumstances that CND and the peace movement find distasteful. It is also often exploited for commercial, advertising or general fashion purposes. We can’t stop this happening and have no intention of copyrighting it.”  Make your fashion statement count please, because it holds real power.

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