To many around the world, this is the Peace symbol. For those in the UK, especially the older folk, it may be better known as the symbol for CND – the campaign for nuclear disarmament. And interesting, both parties are right (hey, cool man!)
The symbol was originally designed in 1958 by Gerald Holtom for a protest march and became adopted by the campaign. Although Holtom indicated that the design reflected his despair, with a simplistic shape of a person with hands down but open, it was also noted that the symbol combined the two semaphore signals for “N” and “D”. However, the symbol was never copyrighted, trademarked or protected in its design, and so was adopted by many anti-war campaign groups – in the 1960s it had successfully crossed into becoming the symbol for a general peace symbol.
Interestingly perhaps, in 1970 an attempt was made to trademark the symbol (and not by CND or Holtom) – fortunately the patent office turned the request down. Other tidbits about the design was that there have been rumours that the design is actually the sign of the devil and a Nazi rune; others have said the symbol is the runic symbol for death of man.
My design was based on a pre-drawn card by pepinpress.com, lined in pencil, then coloured using a mixture of Staedtler pens and coptic greys (with a couple of pastels for good measure).