December 2011

The History of the Peace Sign

Peace symbols come in many forms, but the most recognized symbol of peace around the world is now the peace sign. Many groups now embrace it as a symbol for what they want to see in the world. It graces everything from children’s bedroom sets to chic shirts at shops like Be So Do So to buttons that activists don in protests like the Occupy movement. 
 
Many celebrities have donned peace signs for various occasions as well, including Miley Cyrus, Madonna, and Sarah Polley. In fact, Sarah Polley has remarked that her relationship with Disney soured when she refused to take off a peace sign at an event; studio executives thought it was too controversial, according to a Yahoo! Movies biography. 
 
The peace sign is formed from a combination of the semaphore signals for “D” and “N.” Those letters stood for nuclear disarmament. You see, the peace sign was designed by Gerald Holtom for the British nuclear disarmament movement, and his original drawing of it is on display at the Peace Museum in Bradford, England.

Music of Peace

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Sometimes music can help heal or reveal things that we need to understand. Sometimes it can inspire us to continue on with what we believe in. Songs that celebrate peace can remind us that hope for a peaceful world in which we live in harmony with one another really is quite possible. They can help keep us going when your paths as activist become filled with too many challenges or naysayers. Listen to some of these songs for a little inspiration.
 
“Imagine” by John Lennon must inevitably be mentioned. The anniversary of his death was this past week, December 8, but his message of peace has long lived on. This song unforgettably asks, “Imagine all the people living life in peace.” Also, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” Knowing that you’re not the only one wishing and working for peace can be very strength-building.