The 50th Anniversary of the Peace Symbol

 

Today fifty years ago graphic designer Gerald Holtom unveiled his creation at a Ban the Bomb rally in Great Britain. This design contains symbols used in Semaphore (flag code) for N and D standing for “Nuclear Disarmament.”

It has grown to mean much more or much less (according to how you view it) in the succeeding years.

During the 60s and Viet Nam it was much in evidence and has  had something of a rebirth during our present ill-advised conflict in Iraq. I watched a video today of a human Peace Symbol done in New York in honor of the 50th Anniversary.

For me the symbol will always remind me of those turbulent and yet wonderful times from the year I got back from Nam till the early 70s. I had done my bit for the good ole USA and wanted to reap some of the benefits of our free and open society. I missed out on Woodstock but wanted to have that same feeling take place in my life.

My buddy Vince and I had an apartment a couple of blocks from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg when we were stationed at Quantico in 1970 and the first quarter of 1971. We did our best to live the Hippie lifestyle when not at work on the Marine Corps Base.

It certainly wasn’t any Woodstock experience, but it was definitely an Experience. We both had girlfriends from the college, though my first one was a local and my second dropped out to live with me. She ended up my first wife and to this day can’t stand the sight of me or the mention of my name. I’m sure she has ample reason. When we got married I was still a kid in spite of or perhaps because of 4 years in the Marines.

Since the 70s I haven’t given much thought to the Peace Symbol; not until Iraq. In 2003 before we went in the memories of Viet Nam and how messed up it was started to return. People advised against nation building and pre-emptive invasion. Nothing deterred the “Decider and Head Liar” from his course. It’s as though he and his advisors slept through a major portion of our recent history or were just arrogant enough to ignore it.

Funny how a regular guy like me can remember the lessons of Viet Nam and the President and his cabinet can’t!

Yes, the Peace Symbol brings back many memories, I just wish it would bring more Peace.

RT 

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