Symbols play an important part in communicating the idea of peace. Art is able to reach a part of people that transcends differences and prejudices. Here is the history of the most universal symbols for peace...
Picture of the Earth - Our consciousness was changed when NASA's Apollo 17 mission first released a picture of the entire Earth taken on December 7th, 1972. For the first time in history, we were able to see the entire planet as one; a colorful sphere with a thin shell of an atmosphere. We became more aware of our planet, and its relation to our solar system and to the universe. In viewing the photo from space, we experienced in a deep and emotional way a new awareness of our planet. This image has been credited with inspiring the modern environmental movement. It is the most commonly recognised image the world has ever known, and the most commonly distributed picture of any one single image. There were other images of Earth from space, dating back to the early 1960's, but this was the first picture ever taken of Earth as a complete circle.
The Peace Symbol - The "peace symbol" was originally the symbol of the U.K. Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). It was designed in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a professional designer and artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Arts. The first public use of the symbol was on flags and placards during the 1958 Aldermaston march in England. It was designed from the naval code of semaphore (the flag signaling system), and the symbol represents the code letters for "ND" (Nuclear Disarmament). It is one of the most widely known symbols in the world. In Britain it is recognised as standing for nuclear disarmament – and in particular as the logo of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). In the United States and much of the rest of the world it is known more broadly as the peace symbol.
The Dove - The dove has been a symbol of peace and innocence for thousands of years in many different cultures. It is one of the most recognised symbols of peace. Its origins are from the story of Noah and the Ark, when a dove returned with an olive branch to herald in a new beginning. In ancient Greek mythology it was a symbol of love and the renewal of life. In ancient Japan a dove carrying a sword symbolised the end of war. But it was Pablo Picasso who made the dove a modern symbol of peace when he used it on a poster for the World Peace Congress in 1949.
The Olive Branch - The olive tree has always been a valuable source of food and oil. In ancient Greece, wars between states were suspended during the Olympic Games, and the winners were given crowns of olive branches. The symbolism of peace may come from the fact that the olive tree takes a long time to produce fruit, so olives could only be cultivated successfully in long periods of peace. The olive branch is a part of many modern flags symbolising peace and unity, one well-known example is the United Nations symbol.