Peace Symbols

Peace symbols and peace charms date back more than three thousand years. Some of the earliest symbols for peace include the white dove and olive branch. Both of these symbols were noted together in the story of Noah in the Bible, when Noah released a white dove to find land following the end of the Great Flood, and the dove returned to him with a spring of olive branch in its beak. Both the white dove and olive branch are still used by the three main monotheistic religions as symbols of peace.

The olive branch and wreath was also prominent in Greek ritual and mythology, and the ancient Olympic games, themselves designated as a period of peace, used the olive branch as its symbol to decorate an athlete who had been successful in competition during the games.

Peace Sign TalismanThe modern peace symbol, depicted as a circle with a triangle and straight line, was originated in the late 1950's during nuclear disarmament demonstrations in Great Britain and other countries. The symbol is supposed to contain the letters N and D, which stand for Nuclear Disarmament. The symbol also became prominent during anti-war demonstrations in the USA during the unpopular Viet Nam War. It also became a popular symbol for the new counter-cultural movement that began in the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco and resulted in what became known as the "flower child" or "Hippie" generation.

The "V" sign, also used to denote "victory", was a common symbol during the demonstrations against the Vietnam War and is made by spreading apart the first two fingers of the right hand, with the other fingers down. It is still used extensively today to mean both peace and success or victory.