Showing posts with label semaphore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label semaphore. Show all posts

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

As a sophomore in a Kentucky high school my friends and lunchmates would discuss and debate a gravitas of issues.  One that day was the origins of the peace symbol.  One mentioned that they had heard in their church that it was from the Church of Satan in meaning (looking like a pitch fork by Anton LaVey).  As one who owned jewery with the symbol,  I was compelled to find the meaning.  The school and local library was no help, so I sought out the new state library on the hill.  The librarian, who thought that it was christian based, and I found a book on symbols.  There it spelled out its origins and meaning.  Total Nuclear Disarmament.  

The peace symbol is far more deeper meaning than the commercialization of the symbol portrays.  It is a symbol to put the nuclear weapon dragon back in the cave.
Gerald Holtom's original sketch for Nuclear Disarmament
February 18, 1958 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT symbol of N semaphoric letter and D semaphoric letter were stitched in purple and white and later adopted by the "DAC", Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War.  It was founded in late summer of 1957. The National Council for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons Tests changed its name to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament on 27th January 1958 and held its first public meeting on the 17th February which featured speeches by Bertrand Russell and J B Priestley, and then a march to Downing Street which was stopped by some rough police action. They later merged.  
"Peace - The Biography of a Symbol," by Ken Kolsbun, National Geographic

In the maritime world during the nineth century while underway, signaling using hand flags was commonly used.  The placement of the flags encoded specific information to the daytime observer or flashlights at nighttime.  Flag Semaphore means sign bearer.  With 30 different positions they denote 30 characters that have specific meaning or alphabet letters or numbers.  At sea the flags used to signal are the oscar flags (half red and yellow) and on land the papa (half white and blue) flags are used for signalling

Flag positions for N and D (which also represents 4), N stands for Nuclear, D stands for Disarmament
from Wikipedia... One enduring example is the peace symbol, adopted by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1958 from the original logo created by a commercial artist named Gerald Holtom from Twickenham, London.[3] Holtom designed the logo for use on a protest march on the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, near Newbury, England.
On 4 April 1958, the march left Trafalgar Square for rural Berkshire, carrying Ban the Bomb placards made by Holtom's children making it the first use of the symbol. Originally, it was purple and white and signified a combination of the semaphoric letters N and D, standing for "nuclear disarmament," circumscribed by a circle.[4]
from  "The first mark on paper, according to Mr Holtom, was a white circle within a black square, followed by various versions of the Christian cross within the circle. But the cross, for these people, had too many wrong associations - with the Crusaders, with military medals, with the public blessing by an American chaplain of the plane that flew to Hiroshima - and eventually the arms of the cross were allowed to drop, forming the composite basic semaphore signal for the letters N and D, and at the same time a gesture of human despair against the background of a round globe. Eric Austen, who adapted the symbol for Holtom's waterproof "lollipops" on sticks to ceramic lapel badges, is said to have "discovered that the 'gesture of despair' motif had long been associated with 'the death of man,' and the circle with 'the unborn child,'" source) and also the folowing (on the first public use of the symbol): "So on a wet, chilly Good Friday — 4 April 1958 — the symbol as we know it made its debut in London's Trafalgar Square where thousands gathered to support a "ban the bomb" movement and to make a long march to Aldermaston, where atomic weapons research was being done.