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Since the 60s, the peace sign has been a part of popular culture and has been used in fashion, from clothes to jewelry since then. Even today, the sign represents peace, hope and good fortune, making it as relevant and as loved as its always been.
However, there is some controversy surrounding the peace sign and confusion leading many people to misunderstand the sign.
In this article, we’ll cover the history and origins of the sign, what it symbolizes and whether or not you should wear the peace sign.
Origins and History of the Peace Sign
The peace sign has its origins in the 60s, a time of great political and social change. The sign was designed by Gerald Holton in Britain for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, using the naval semaphore flags to depict the letters N and D.
Naval semaphore flag signalling system. Notice the letters D and N.
Can you see the naval semaphore flags for D and N in this symbol?
The N and D are set within a circle and if you look at the sign, you can see that the central lines also look like a figure with their arms hanging down in frustration against a white background representing the earth.
There’s been some controversy as to the resemblance of the lines to an upside-down cross (more on this below) but Holtom states that although he initially though about using a Christian cross, he later decided to opt for a universal symbol and one that anyone could relate to, regardless of their religion.
The sign quickly became one of the main symbols of the era used to protest against the establishment. It later migrated to the United States, where it was used to protest the Vietnam War and by the civil rights movement in the US. It became a way for protesters to unite their efforts and as it wasn’t tied to any brand or product, it was seen for its message.
The symbol began to signify peace and anti-war sentiment. With the rise in peace promotion in the 60s era, the Nuclear Disarmament symbol became known as the peace symbol.
Over time, Holtom regretted that he drew the sign to represent a despairing figure and wanted to invert the symbol so that the arms would be stretched upwards in celebration of peace, rather than in despair of war and hate. However, the symbol had stuck and it wasn’t possible to change it.
Peace Sign Jewelry
Although there is some controversy surrounding the peace sign, the fact remains that for most people, this is a symbol of peace. It has a hippie, bohemian vibe to it and makes for beautiful, funky jewelry for people who want to make a statement with their fashion choices.
Lucky penny peace sign earrings. See them here.
The most obvious and visible spot to wear your peace sign jewelry is as earrings. While you won’t be able to see them yourself, unless you go up to a mirror, they’ll be visible to everyone else. Opt for dangles for a more statement look, or small studs for an understated touch.
A pendant is another excellent and popular way to wear the peace sign. While the sign doesn’t lend itself to being stylized too much, there are many creative ways that designers can incorporate the sign into their jewelry while still giving it a fresh and new look.
Creative peace sign pendant. See it here.
Rustic peace sign pendant. See it here.
You can also find quirky and stylish peace sign rings. This is perfect if you like your jewelry to be constant reminders and you can’t escape seeing a peace ring on your finger. If you would like a more subtle statement, one that isn’t too obvious, then pick a dainty, almost invisible ring like this one that still carries a message but isn’t loud enough for everyone to hear.
Stylish peace sign rings. See them here.
The Peace Sign Controversy
While most of the world sees this symbol as a sign of peace, to some Christians, it is as an anti-Christian and satanic symbol and one that represents evil. The sign can look like an upside-down cross, which is assumed to be ungodly.
The upside-down fork of the peace sign is sometimes called Nero’s cross as this Roman emperor is said to have crucified the Apostle Peter upside down. The cross, on its head, looked like a fork pointing downwards. In addition, the symbol is believed to have been used in pagan ceremonies in ancient times.
So, the question is, should you wear the peace sign if you’re a Christian?
Unfortunately, we can’t really help you out here. This is a subjective decision and one that only you can make. It’s important to note that a symbol on its own means nothing. The associations you give it are what the symbol will mean to you.
For some the peace sign represents only positive things such as hope, peace, goodwill and inspiration. Think about what the sign means to you and choose accordingly.
Where to Buy Peace Sign Jewelry
There are many places to look for peace sign jewelry online, but we recommend starting your search on sites like Etsy and Amazon (Handmade). These marketplaces bring together a large number of talented designers who create beautiful hand-made items.