number of peace symbols have been used in various cultures and contexts
throughout history. This section of our symbols website looks at many
of these recent and ancient peace symbols.
is our complete list of peace symbols.
Branch Peace Symbol
Asian Peace Symbol
Ribbon Peace Symbol
and Olive Branch
The dove and olive branch was used by early
Christians and became current in the 18th century. It was popularised
by the artist Pablo Picasso in 1949 and became widely used in the
post-war peace movement. The dove represents the Holy Spirit or Holy
the anti-nuclear emblem or the peace sign is one of
widely known symbols in the world. It was invented on the request of
lord bertrand russel, head of the british 'campaign for nuclear
disarmament' or CDN and sponsor of mass marches and sit-downs in
London. The symbol is a combination of the semaphore signals for the
letters "N" and "D," standing for "nuclear disarmament".
Nicholas Roerich (1874–1947) was the founder
of a movement to protect cultural artifacts, whose symbol, a maroon on
white emblem consisting of three solid circles in a surrounding circle,
has been used as a peace banner. In 1935 a pact initiated by Roerich
was signed by the United States and Latin American nations, agreeing
that "historic monuments, museums, scientific, artistic, educational
and cultural institutions" should be protected both in times of peace
and war. According to the Roerich Museum, "The Banner of Peace symbol
has ancient origins. Perhaps its earliest known example appears on
Stone Age amulets: three dots, without the enclosing circle. Roerich
came across numerous later examples in various parts of the world, and
knew that it represented a deep and sophisticated understanding of the
triune nature of existence. But for the purposes of the Banner and the
Pact, Roerich described the circle as representing the totality of
culture, with the three dots being Art, Science, and Religion, three of
the most embracing of human cultural activities. He also described the
circle as representing the eternity of time, encompassing the past,
present, and future.
The broken rifle symbol is used by War Resisters'
International (WRI) and its affiliates but predates the foundation of
WRI in 1921. The first known example of the symbol is in the mast-head
of the January 1909 issue of De Wapens Neder (Down With Weapons), the
monthly paper of the International Antimilitarist Union in the
This rainbow flag originated
in italy and is emblazoned in bold with the italian word PACE, meaning
'peace'. The international peace flag in the colours of the rainbow was
first used in Italy on a 1961 peace march from Perugia to Assisi
organised by the pacifist and social philosopher Aldo Capitini
(1899–1968). Inspired by the peace flags used on British
peace marches, Capitini got some women of Perugia hurriedly to sew
together coloured strips of material.
Within Asia the white crane
is the bird of peace. Originally it was the sort of peace that comes
with prosperity and friendship, such that war is not even considered.
the crane took on even greater significance as a peace symbol within
japan right after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The peace hand gesture is thought to have begun in
Europe during world war II when a V for victory - and not to be
confused with the catholic gesture of benediction - was painted on
walls as a symbol of freedom from occupying forces. the sign was widely
used by peace movements in the 1960s and 1970s as a symbol of victory
for peace and truth.