A sign of world peace …

A sign of world peace …


I am a great believer in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. It helps me to make just a little more sense of the universe I apparently inhabit without getting too much of a headache. Today’s post hopefully demonstrates this. Not the headache bit. The rest of it.


Just a few days ago we were all witness to the horrific events unfolding in Paris. We were left yet again trying to make sense of the senseless. The whole planet responded with an outpouring of love and sympathy for the victims.   A “Peace for Paris” symbol, combining the city’s beloved Eiffel Tower with the CND peace sign, has gone viral following the terror attacks.


The designer is a 32-year-old French graphic artist, Jean Jullien, who lives in London. 


Now let’s hop in a time-machine and go back to 1957.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) was founded in 1957 in the wake of widespread fear of nuclear conflict and the effects of nuclear tests. In the early 1950s Britain had become the third atomic power, after the USA and the USSR, and had recently tested an H-bomb.


The symbol adopted by CND, designed for them in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, became the international peace symbol. 


The first CND badges were made by Eric Austen of Kensington CND using white clay with the symbol painted black. Again there was a conscious symbolism. They were distributed with a note explaining that in the event of a nuclear war, these fired pottery badges would be among the few human artifacts to survive the nuclear inferno. 


At the beginning of  the month I received a very nice email from Eric Austen’s daughter, Gea. She told me about the part her father played in the early days of the CND. Gea was born in 1951 and is a very gifted artist. Click here to view more information about her.

And just to wind things up on a happy note, here is a picture of my grandaughter Rosie holding the moon in her hand. A child at one with the universe. Just as it should be. 


17 responses to “A sign of world peace …

  1. Very nice, Chris. I like learning about the origins of the peace symbol. It’s one of my favorite symbols. Do you mind if I reblog this?

  2. Kris, that is a great post! I often asked myself what is behind that peace symbol. And how everything comes together since Gea was even born in 1951! ☮

  3. Spoken like a man of the Beatle’s generation. “Speaking words of wisdom, Let it be…”

  4. That last pic is so cool!

  5. Reblogged this on Golden Daze and commented:
    . . . . .In the wake of the Paris attacks, Chris White has provided an interesting reminder of the peace symbol and its origins.

  6. Very, very interesting., Thanks for the education about the symbol.

  7. Chris,, I’m writing my autobiography, as I remember very clearly sitting with my father while he decided which design to use,, he really masterminded the whole thing , and started CND… it was his design , and he asked Gerald to draw it as he had technical drawing skills,, they were both Pacifists from Norfolk, and good friends, they came to London together,, because I have such clear memories,, I want people to know what really happened, but at that time it wasn’t safe to be associated in any way with CND .. and we were followed, had a phones tapped for years,, we eventually had to move across London … overnight.. anyway a little film .. its only twelve minutes long, and quite a few things are untrue. I do wish the Holtoms would appear. Why is it impossible to find them ? Surely they would want to be friends after what out fathers went through together..? …the film .. https://vimeo.com/53623449
    best wishes
    Gea Austen

  8. Hi Gia … Thank you so much for these comments. I really hope that your autobiography can set the record straight on the points you mention. All the very best. Kris.

    • Thankyou so much Chris,, well ,, its all history now , but I think its important to get it right.. the fundamental beliefs of my father and the people who supported CND .. which he founded, were all extremely good .. and certainly still hold true today.. what we need is a world without borders,, and no violence or wars.. its very important now, more than ever. I think we are on the egde of a turning point for mankind.. love and Peace . Gea xxx

  9. Hi Chris Thank you for calling by and wanting to follow my poetry adventures. Great to meet you. I wrote some children stories they are on my blog. Peace and Best Wishes. The Foureyed Poet.

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