Talk:Peace symbols/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Old Discussions

In the opening line, what is (☮ U+262E) supposed to display? In my browser (IE6), it displays a square and the jumble U+262E. What is it supposed to look like? Is there a way to fix it? —Frecklefoot 17:24, 18 Sep 2003 (UTC)

See the runes article discussion page and follow the link to the runic font.

There are more peace symbols than this one.. Shouldn't we discuss olive branches, doves etc. in this article? [[User:Sverdrup|Sverdrup❞]] 02:27, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)

White dove with branch: It could be pointed out that the symbol of the olive branch is much older than the bible. I've read somewhere that it has its origin in one of the first conventions of war: you should not harm the olive trees (because they take so long to bear fruit). If i had a source i would put it in. -- Michael

What about the hand sign for peace using two fingers. Does anyone know the origin of that? Is it related to V-for-victory? --Carl 05:27, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Fourth Spoke

The original peace symbol did not have the fourth spoke (at 6 o'clock). It kinda looks like the Mercedes symbol, except the 12 o'clock spoke was longer than the two lower spokes. Also, Mercedes spokes are tapered, the peace sign spokes are straight.

I think the article should mention the original three-spoke peace sign. Jigen III 06:41, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

The peace symbol as shown on this page is actually the symbol of death. The peace symbol has the three spokes pointing to 12 o'clock (opposite to death symbol). The tree of life. It was altered as the death symbol configuration was more popular, the true peace configuration forgotten. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:15, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Wrong. The inverted "life rune" was used by the Nazis as a symbol for death. But this predates the peace symbol and is apparently unrelated. I don't know of any evidence that inverted or or meant peace in ancient times. The closest to a peace rune is (wunjô = joy, harmony). I've never seen an upside-down ☮ as a peace symbol, who uses that?-- (talk) 16:23, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

The original drawings by Gerald Holtom, which are now in Bradford, show that this is not the case. Howard Clark (talk) 14:11, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Agreed B. Mistler 18:22, 24 February 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bmistler (talkcontribs)

The first I've seen of the "peace sign" not including the fourth spoke has been during the last few years. I assumed the people displaying it in that form were simply ... whatever the symbology counterpart would be to "illiterate." I especially love the three-spoke versions that I've seen that were upside-down. Those are a hoot and a half. McGehee (talk) 02:44, 24 February 2008 (UTC)


Shouldn't this have the anti-war template?

Furthermore, shouldn't we have an image showing the original N an D symbols, for comparison with the 'unified' modern peace symbol?

The "peace flag" section is quite poorly written. I have made some small grammatical changes but it needs a larger overhaul. In particular the portion discussing the symbolism of the rainbow (especially the phrase "pacific coexistence of people" which, if it makes sense, should be elaborated on - as of now I have no idea what it means) is badly constucted. Also, the discussion of the manufacturer of the flag should refer more directly to the circumstances which led to such a massive increase in production. Or perhaps the whole section should be rewritten in a more chronological fashion, first talking about the history and symbology of the flag, THEN discussing it's recent rise in popularity. -- Chad

A point I believe should be added about the "broken cross" or "N-D" symbol is the mild dislike to strong hatred of this symbol by Vietnam-era military veterans, especially those who served in 'Nam (as I did). The protests marches and demonstrations by persons who carried and wore this symbol encouraged the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army to keep fighting. Many veterans believe that had those protests and demonstrations not taken place, the war could have ended sooner, and fewer U.S. military would have died. Thus, for many Vietnam veterans, this peace sign is a reminder of those extra lives lost--some being relatives and comrades-in-arms--and the encouragement of enemies of the United States. -- F.W.R., SMSgt, USAF (Ret'd) (talk) 00:49, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Well who started that war and tried to bomb all of Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao back to the stone age? Who burned their villages, massacred their kids and poisoned their land? Who is shown in those photos, posing and grinning and playing with dead bodies of Vietnamese peasants? I wish more of your comrades had been killed because that would have ended the war sooner.-- (talk) 16:31, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
You are WAY out of line here. Read WP:PERSONAL thoroughly before responding in such a manner. --Alan (talk) 16:38, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Dove's foot?

I always understood the symbol to emblematic of a foot of a dove. Perhaps I'm way off base there. YearginSM 06:58, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

You are. Read the article. Michael.Urban (talk) 16:17, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Dove holding olive branch?

Shouldn't we have a picture of it? Isn't that a sign of peace as well? It's used in WP:KC among other things. Borisblue 05:22, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Most of Antagonism section moved from article


{{unreferenced}} The fact that the symbol resembles a bird's foot in a circle gave rise to alternative interpretations, ranging from plain mockery of "crow's foot" and "The Footprint of the American Chicken" (suggesting that peace activists were cowards) to a number of occult meanings.

Conspiracy theorists believe that the symbol is one symbol among many that has a different meaning to the inscrutable elite than it has to the general public. Some believe it is an ancient symbol designating hatred toward Christians, from Emperor Nero, who crucified the Apostle Peter upside-down, hence it is a symbol of an inverted cross. The Nero's cross has also been recognized as a "mockery" of christianity, as it is thought to represent a broken, upside down cross, within a circle representing "Nero's vision". It is thought that Nero believed that the destruction of Christianity and all Christians would bring peace. It has even been rumored that the proliferation of the sign was on-part due to a Soviet conspiracy to encourage the sign which had a hidden anti-christian design (an objective part of the Soviet goals).

It has also been called a relative of the Nazi swastika – or the rune algiz inverted, said to mean "hidden danger". It resembles the rune calc.

An inverted peace symbol could also be seen as stylized image of the female pubic region.

Comment: Actually, if you google for a phrase like "inverted broken cross" you find plenty of sources confirming most of the text above. First time I remember coming across this interpretation of the peace sign was from a Jack Chick comic about 25 years ago. =Axlq 05:18, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

By the way, the Cross of St. Peter is a perfectly legitimate traditional Christian symbol, but it has come to be used by some anti-Christians, and some Christians are suspicious of it (or symbols similar to it) when used in a non-Christian context... AnonMoos 11:46, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I had a teacher that went crazy when I used the peace sign... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:58, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

It's not a dove's foot

Monsignor Bruce Kent says he was at the meeting where they approved the logo based on the semaphore for N and D, and I for one believe him. There seems to be some kind of myth, particularly prevalent in America, that this is some kind of pre-Christian peace symbol. It isn't, it's the CND symbol.


I think that Bruce might have said "I know some of the people at the meeting ...", he certainly was not there as he didn't really get involved in the peace movement until much later, the war in Biafra, I think.

The nuclear disarmament was first adopted by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War, the initiators of the first Aldermaston march, and later was taken up by CND. Michael Randle, chairperson of the Direct Action Committee, recalls that Harry Mister - the business manager of Peace News and of Housmans Bookshop and who died in 2006 - was not convinced by the design, arguing that it would mean anything to ordinary people. To which Hugh Brock replied, "this movement is going to be so big that everyone will know this symbol".

There were close contacts between Brock and US anti-nuclear activists at this time. As Bayard Rustin took part in the first Aldermaston march, I think it is likely that he was one of the people to introduce the symbol to the USA. Howard Clark (talk) 13:57, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Easter march to Canterbury?!

The 1958 Easter march, planned by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War and supported by the newly-formed Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, was from Trafalgar Square to Aldermaston. There was no march to Canterbury, and I don't know if the idea was ever mooted.

An accurate account of various peace symbols can be found in editorial matter in the 2007 Housmans Peace Diary. Howard Clark (talk) 14:34, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Housmans Peace Diary 2007

The introductory article in the Housmans Peace Diary 2007 is on Symbols of Peace. It lists the follow symbols: Dove Olive Branch Broken Rifle White Poppy ND symbol or Peace Sign

I'm sure that Housmans would be very pleased for some of this material to be used here (and I say that as a former board member of Housmans). Howard Clark (talk) 14:34, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

3rd Panzer Division

Apparantly an identical or nearly identical symbol was used as the insignia for Germany's 3rd Panzer Division circa 1943. Can somebody confirm that for me? -Toptomcat 00:53, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

No it's not similar unless three equally spaced vertical lines with an inverted v attached to the first one resembles a circle. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:46, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
This site is a reference used on the German page about the 3. Panzer-Division. It points to the "peace sign" as being the divisional emblem from 1941 to 1945. -- (talk) 18:32, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
See now #Removed section on this page below. AnonMoos (talk) 00:21, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Local controversy over peace symbol wreath

Would it be appropriate to add a mention of this to the article? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 05:34, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Yahoo news links are gone after a few months. Here is the New York Times abstract:

Oops, added the citation before reading the talk page. Feel free to remove or edit as you like (not that you need my permission). My two cents... I think it should be at least cited as the "controversy" is already alluded to in the text of the article but it's a little light on references. New 21:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Antagonism and white doves

Does anyone know why the Antagonism section is called that? Wouldn't "Spurious Histories of the Peace Sign" be better?

Also, why have white doves become the peace symbol? Does white symbolize peace? --DBlomgren 02:19, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

It does to Christians or in a Christian context. It's a dove appearing at the end of the Hebrew version of the Flood Myth. In the earlier Gilgamesh version it's of course a raven. Both ravens and doves have meant a variety of things historically. Anyway a dove is evidently well known as a peace symbol. Hakluyt bean (talk) 17:37, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Added lighted peace symbol

I added a picture of a lighted peace symbol upon the suggestion of a friend. The picture is one that I took of myself modeling the lighted peace symbol that I designed and constructed. I have licenced it under the GPL license. --Allyn 01:14, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

That looks wicked. Unfortunatly I don't think that it is notable enough to warrent inclusion in the article.--JK the unwise 14:21, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Looking up wicked on Wikipedia, it can mean extreme, unusual, or even excellent. It is used in the computer industry to describe excellent graphics or network performance. Based on this, I feel that you really meant that it should stay in the article. If it is 'wicked', then it is excellant. I am tempted to revert and put it back in, but please let me wait and see what response I get. Please clarify your intention. --Allyn 16:06, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
By 'wicked' I did indeed mean very good. However, being a cool thing is not enough to justify inclution in an encycolpedia article. See Wikipedia:Notability "The inclusion of topics on Wikipedia is a reflection of whether those topics have been included in reliable published works. Other authors, scholars, or journalists have decided whether to give attention to a topic, and in their expertise have researched and checked the information about it. Thus, the primary notability criterion is a way to determine whether "the world" has judged a topic to be notable. This is unrelated to whether a Wikipedia editor personally finds the subject remarkable or worthy."--JK the unwise 14:02, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree. I thought that I would include an example of a use for a peace symbol as someone had suggested to me verbally. You're right that it's not notable mainly because it a one of a kind. I have since moved it to the Commons and put it in some of the galleries there. --Allyn 04:07, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I am removing the photo from this talk page as the discussion has reached a conlusion and its presence here violates Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest#Self-promotion. Allyn is the designer of the clothes in the photo and requests commissions via his personal web site. RP Bravo 07:36, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Reverted vandalism

I reverted an apparent vandalism where someone had replaced the entire article with just 'peace sign'. --Allyn 02:48, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


Does somebody have a source for the peace symbol being based on two semaphore signs? Given that the discussion above states that the original form of it lacked one of the spokes, this seems an unlikely source for the symbol, espescially given the pre-existing runic traditions. Sounds very much like a "backronym". -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. 07:06, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

No, it is definitely based on the semaphore signs. I have added the necessary citation to the main article.
--NSH001 16:59, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Neil is completely wrong and has taken it upon himself to promote this here. He is notorious for vandalizing this page with the semaphore lie. If you are interesting in the actual truth below then read the following: During the early protest in the 1950’s in England the word Nuclear was not used, Atomic was the only word used then, there is absolutely no connection to any semaphore signal of ND; the peach symbol was actually circle place around the sign that was seen throughout the English country side, the one for strategic bomber fields. The Intercontinental Ballistic Missile did not yet exist; the delivery system for Atomic weapons then was the strategic bomber. The US placed several bases throughout the UK and Europe for this purpose. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:07, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Please provide some sources so this is at least as well-documented as the already-cited source ( and incorporate this into the article indicating this additional theory (without deleting the already-cited material). Don't just delete well-cited material in favor of unsourced material that reflects your belief. TJRC (talk) 20:36, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I couldn't help laughing at our anonymous friend's weird rant above. As it happens, it wasn't me who originally put the semaphore explanation in the article, but I did supply the reference. As for "atomic" vs "nuclear", CND (founded in 1958), stands for "Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament".
--NSH001 (talk) 22:52, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

The "ND semaphore" explanation was widely promulgated in printed books during the 1970's, so it's hardly a simple "lie" (whether or not it turns out to be true). AnonMoos (talk) 21:54, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Furthermore, the CND article implies that the organization was founded under that name (using the word "Nuclear") in 1958... AnonMoos (talk) 21:57, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it's true that 'nuclear' was not as common a usage in the '50s as compared to 'atomic'. However, that does not imply that the word 'nuclear' did not exist or that it was NEVER used in connection with atomic/nuclear weapons. Also, while the ICBM did not exist as a DEPLOYED weapons system, the Soviets had launched Sputnik in 57; it was realized that such a rocket could deliver a warhead. So ICBMs existed, they just weren't deployed or practical yet. NCD was founded in 58. (That's after 57 for those who prefer rhetoric over facts - I'm talking about you, MR Anonymous) Origins aside, I have always found it ironic that the "peace" symbol looks like a jet. I've always imagined that it is a B-52 laden with an H-bomb or two. KABOOM! TAKE THAT, YOU DIRTY HIPPIES! HAHA! Yeah, just kidding. But the irony is unmistakeable. Highonhendrix (talk) 10:09, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I have added information which resolves the Semaphore debate. It is referenced in detail on the CND page and is a first hand account from Hugh Brock (Peace News). I think it should end all debate in this regard. Aimulti (talk) 07:01, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

If a lower-case "n" is drawn as an inverted "v" and put between "C" and "D", they can be moved together to make the symbol. (talk) 20:49, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Pace rainbow flag

Should be an illustration or photo of this... AnonMoos 11:09, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Solid colours version - Epson291 04:53, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Alternate Shalom-Salam image

AnonMoos 11:03, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Presumably, looking at this graphic, the English word 'Peace' is also a peace sign, as indeed is I guess potentially any graphic representation of the word peace in any language. Does it not take the interpretation of 'symbol' to the point of redundancy? Hakluyt bean (talk) 17:16, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Does anyone use this, or was it just created by a Wikipedian? "No original research" applies to images. -Branddobbe (talk) 02:19, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Graphics along broadly similar conceptual lines (though differing in specific details) are used, but those exact graphics would generally be copyrighted... AnonMoos (talk) 11:04, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Used where? By who? -Branddobbe (talk) 03:31, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
If you've been in the United States (which is all I can speak to, but probably also other countries), and maintained an active ongoing interest in middle east events and politics over the past decades, then you're quite likely to have encountered such a multilingual graphic in some form at some point. I possess a physical button with "peace"/"سلام"/"שלום" on it in large letters, issued in honor of the Camp David Accords... 11:46, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I have indeed seen a bumper sticker with "peace"/"سلام"/"שלום" on it. I like the picture on the right; maybe someone more familiar with the markup can put it into the text of the article. Jchthys (talk) 20:20, 11 February 2009 (UTC)


This sentence: "However, Holtom, a conscientious objector during the Second World War, subverted this use of semaphores by placing the D over the N, the "upside down logo" signifying his anti-military principles" makes no sense to me. The symbol is two dimensional; how can it have one element placed over the other? How does a D over an N make it upside down? There's no subversion of the two semaphore elements. Even though this is exactly what the referenced source says, I think it should be deleted from the article. It's confused, it's unclear, and the source doesn't explain it further. Binksternet (talk) 14:19, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

I deleted the "D over the N" mention. Binksternet (talk) 05:18, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Peace symbol

I feel it's worth mentioning, the peace symbol just happens to look identical to the old norse/germanic rune algiz. Would it be possible to say something about this? (talk) 17:54, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, and indeed some people think that that's the origin of the sign. I think you could add a remark about that under the "Antagonism" section. Jchthys (talk) 20:23, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Runes, derived from Graeco-Italic letters (my money's on Venetic) and adapted for scratching on wood or stone, are consequently both simple and composed of only a few straight lines. Many other symbols, signs and logos are also, for obvious reasons, designed to be simple and to use straight lines. There are only so many possible arrangements of a few straight lines: it's therefore inevitable that some designs will by mere coincidence resemble other unconnected designs, including runes.
Moreover, the rune in question (as with other supposed "sources") only resembles part of the symbol, everyone conveniently ignores the circular border which is an integral element of it.
Since we have the documented testimony both of the actual designer of the CND Nuclear Disarmament symbol (which later came for some to symbolise "Peace" in general), and of other members of the organisation for whom he designed it, versus no evidence at all that anyone involved had runes in mind, why should the subsequent uninformed and incorrect guesses of third parties be treated as any more than that.
Incidentally, it's worth remembering that in the place (the UK) and era (the 1950's) in and for which the symbol was invented, a great many, perhaps most, people were trained in semaphore through membership of the Boy Scouts, Boys' Brigade, Sea Cadets, Girl Guides and other similar organisations, and/or of the Armed Forces. By contrast, few people beyond some specialist academic historians (or scourers of the appendices of The_Return_of_the_King, but recently published) would have had any knowledge of runes, and still fewer of their supposed symbolism. (talk) 10:03, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
The appendices weren't published until about 1966... AnonMoos (talk) 00:00, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Then I stand corrected, but my point stands even more strongly. (talk) 19:45, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

What I Think What The Peace Sign Means —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:51, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Requested move

Oppose rename -- there's not one single peace symbol, and never has been. The name of the analogous article LGBT symbols is also plural because of this reason. AnonMoos (talk) 23:57, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

You are referring to a list of peace symbols. An article about the concept, image and metaphor of a symbol of peace would be appropriately titled, "Peace symbol" or "Peace (symbolism)". Viriditas (talk) 01:39, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Isn't this article pretty much a list? -- AnonMoos (talk) 03:10, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
No. This article is a disjointed and poorly written history of the peace symbol, not a list. The word list in this context refers primarily to what is called a stand-alone list or any stand-alone list subtype. As an example, a list of peace symbols would sort peace symbols by some general category, for example, peace symbols in religion, peace symbols in literature, peace symbols in film, peace symbols in art, etc. Some lists might use a simple index or table, and they will often be very narrow in scope, such as list of Massachusetts state symbols or broad like list of common astronomy symbols. The current article is more like hazard symbol, ticker symbol, status symbol, sex symbol, gender symbol, etc. Per WP:PLURAL, the most common use of the term is "peace symbol", not "peace symbols". Viriditas (talk) 08:51, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
That's not really the case. There is one particular shape which is most commonly known as the "peace sign", but this article covers all significant peace symbols... AnonMoos (talk) 18:10, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
The term "peace symbol" isn't plural. List of peace symbols is an appropriate name for a list. Peace symbol is the correct article name for a topic about the origin and history of peace symbols. Sex symbol and status symbol are no different. We use the singular when we refer to them. "Peace sign" and "peace symbol" are not the same thing. An article that "covers all significant peace symbols" would be called "peace symbol" or peace (symbolism), since each of these things is referred to as a symbol of peace. If you are trying to say that the most common use of the word "peace symbol" is in reference to "peace sign" then that is another problem altogether. From 2003-2007, the article was named peace symbol. That's a long period of stabiilty. On 6 July 2007, it was moved with the edit summary, "the article deals with multiple symbols." That's never been a good reason to move any article from singular to plural. Viriditas (talk) 19:54, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
In some hypothetical ideal universe, all articles either would narrowly focus on one well-defined object or would be formal list articles, and all articles which were not list articles would have titles in the singular. However, that universe is not this one. Some articles, such as this article and "LGBT symbols", deal with collections of items (without being formal lists), and so fairly naturally have a title in the plural. I really don't see how your campaign to get rid of the plural adds any conceptual clarity... AnonMoos (talk) 02:20, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
You aren't even addressing the topic. You're talking about an article (LGBT symbols) that isn't analagous to this one and has nothing to do with an abstract concept. The symbols used in the LGBT article don't even mean the same thing and are completely different, except for the fact that they share the same theme. The two articles can't even be compared, and I think you are bringing it up to distract from the discussion and politicize it. You've insinuated that the peace sign is synonymous with the peace symbol, but at the same time, you demand that this article include all peace symbols. But "peace symbol" is only used in its singular form. When we discuss peace symbols, we are discusing a particular peace symbol, and according to some people there is a primary topic here. But that can no longer be proved because several editors have been bypassing redirects with popups. So, contrary to what you claim, there has been a campaign by other editors to force an article about a particular, primary concept to be associated with other secondary concepts. What does the "peace symbol" refer to? Does it refer to "peace symbols"? Viriditas (talk) 02:38, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the point of all this is -- you made one assertion (that this article is basically about the circular peace sign, and everything else is a distraction) which seems to be false, while most of the rest is theoretical abstract metaphysics which has little to do with concretely improving this article in any way that I can see. AnonMoos (talk) 08:45, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Huh? I didn't say that, you did: "There is one particular shape which is most commonly known as the "peace sign", but this article covers all significant peace symbols... AnonMoos (talk) 18:10, 15 April 2009 (UTC) [1] I then proceeded to directly address your statement and follow it through to its conclusion. You are now criticizing me for addressing your own words, and then telling me that I'm the one making the assertion? If you can't follow the discussion, simply stop responding. Viriditas (talk) 08:49, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
You said "This article is a disjointed and poorly written history of the peace symbol, not a list", and I'm really not sure how to interpret that remark other than as being intended to mean that this article is basically about the circular peace sign (constantly referred to in the article as "the" peace symbol, until I recently went through and changed it to "the peace sign"). There is no one single metaphysical abstract Platonic idea of a peace symbol which is variously realized as a dove with olive branch, rainbow flag with PACE, circular sign, etc. AnonMoos (talk) 08:56, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Therein lies the problem. You are interpreting my words to mean something that they do not mean. When I say "peace symbol" I mean, a symbol of peace, and I think I've made that clear already. Viriditas (talk) 09:01, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Dove and olive branch section

Why does this section open up with a reference to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? Historically, this section should begin with the peace symbol of the olive tree in Greek culture, move on to the Jews, then the Christians and the Muslims. Strangely, the Greeks appear at the end of this section. Viriditas (talk) 03:31, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

The Greeks had the olive branch, but the dove seems to come from Genesis 8:11, so the full symbol (dove and olive branch) is Biblical. AnonMoos (talk) 08:51, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I see. And you feel this adequately answers my question, how? All of these symbols are pre-Christian and the early Christians borrowed them. If you are saying that the Christians were the first to use the dove and olive branch together, I would like to see a source. Either way, these symbols of peace predate their use by Christianity. And as I am sure you are aware, the flood story is pre-Christian as well. The dove story itself comes from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Viriditas (talk) 09:35, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
The narrative motif of the bird flying from the ark would go back to ancient middle-eastern folklore (the Bible presumably derived from oral sources, rather than directly from written Mesopotamian literary works), but the use of the specific combination of a dove with an olive branch as a symbol comes from the Bible. The olive branch is only part of the complete dove-and-olive-branch symbol, which is why the Biblical reference is placed before the Greek reference. AnonMoos (talk) 10:10, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Let's assume all of that is true for the sake of this discussion. The Greeks should still appear before any discussion of the biblical symbols, as the oldest biblical manuscripts (of what you refer to as the "Bible") are dated later than the Greek legends and mythologies. It doesn't matter if it is a dove by itself or a dove and an olive branch, this article is about the symbol of peace, and the Greek symbols predate the biblical ones. You must know that, so I cannot understand why we are still discussing this. Should we also start talking about Hindu peace symbols which predate the Christian ones by a millennium? The structure of this article does not reflect an accurate chronology. Viriditas (talk) 10:26, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm by no means certain that's the case -- the best estimates are that the Iliad was first written down after 700 B.C., while the Pentateuch received a reasonably final written form (with only rather minor subsequent edits) during the reign of Josiah of Judah. In any case, I said nothing about chronology in my remarks above, and I'm not sure how chronology is even supposed to be relevant. What I said is that the complete symbol of the olive branch with the dove goes back to the Bible, while the Greeks only had part of the olive-branch-with-dove symbol, so it's natural to discuss the Biblical references before the Greek references. And in any case, I'm not sure how often the olive branch on its own is really used as a peace symbol in modern cultures -- it appears as kind of a background or frame for other symbols, as in the flag of the United Nations or the flag of Cyprus, but a visual depiction of an olive branch just standing on its own might not have very prominent symbolic associations for many people.
If there are any Hindu peace symbols which have achieved prominence outside of a purely devotional context, then by all means include them in the article.... AnonMoos (talk) 04:43, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
There is no indication that the passage from Genesis 8:11 has anything to do with peace. That's an interpretation that was made by someone at a later date, and it remains unsourced in the article. On the other hand, the Greeks discuss related symbols of peace in many ways; if there is any interpretation, it is few and far in between. So, on the one hand, we have the olive branch, whose symbol of peace comes to us from the Greeks. On the other hand we have the dove, an image that comes us to us from the Sumerians. Chronology has everything to do with history, and there is no source in the article for what you claim. If we are discussing symbols of peace, surely we should also be discussing their historical use. You are assuming that a particular culture has the goods on peace symbols, when by all accounts that is not true. Viriditas (talk) 08:25, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
When you read Genesis 8:11, you may be personally slightly confused as to how a meaning of "peace" emerged from it, but that has nothing to do with this article. Furthermore, it doesn't matter whether Greeks, Sumerians, or aliens from the planet Xenon "originally" came up with elements of the symbol, because the simple historical reality is: If dove-and-olive-branch mentioned in Bible, then dove-and-olive-branch would become a symbol; whereas if dove-and-olive-branch NOT mentioned in Bible, then dove-and-olive-branch would NOT become a symbol. If you have some kind of anti-religious bias, editing this article is not the place to indulge it. AnonMoos (talk) 11:32, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
I'll remove the entire section unless you can provide a source. It is that simple. Viriditas (talk) 13:29, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

From what I can tell, in Christianity, it is the olive branch that is seen as a symbol of peace, not the dove. Augustine of Hippo was one of the first to popularize this interpretation. Please show otherwise. This means that the Greek symbols predate the interpretations in this article. Now, considering that Augustine was heavily influenced by the Greek philosopher Plotinus, I think this is open and shut. Viriditas (talk) 14:00, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

The dove requires its own section and has its own history as a symbol of peace, even though there is some obvious relationship with the olive branch section. Pablo Picasso greatly popularized its use in the mid-20th century and the image of "doves" and "hawks" came out of the Cuban Missile Crisis and was used throughout the Vietnam War. In Japan, a dove with a sword is also a symbol of peace. (Safire 2008) Viriditas (talk) 14:54, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

I have very little idea what it is that you consider to be supposedly "open and shut" (in fact, I have very little idea what purpose most of your remarks are intended to serve), but threatening to delete the section on the dove-and-olive-branch symbol would seem to have a lot more to do with your own personal predilections than with improving Wikipedia, given that it's common sense that the dove-and-olive-branch symbol has a rather wide usage in Western cultures (it appears in a million editorial cartoons, for example, and also in the logos of the United States Institute of Peace and other similar organizations). AnonMoos (talk)
This seems to be a continuing theme with every discussion we have. I ask a general question directed to nobody in particular, and you feel compelled to respond with an answer that has nothing to do with my question. I then respond getting back on topic, and you respond by casting aspersions and setting up straw men. I hope you can see that this is a very silly game you are playing. When I say that a particular thing is challenged and needs sources, you are not supposed to respond by attacking my character and questioning my motivations. You are supposed to address the topic and provide sources. To summarize, there are problems with the title of this article and the content and I believe I have addressed them above. You can continue to put your fingers in your ears and scream "I can't hear you", but I'm staying on topic and trying to fix the problems with this article. You need not respond, there are other editors on Wikipedia besides yourself. Viriditas (talk) 07:11, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Whatever -- if your remarks were intended to serve any immediate concrete constructive practical purpose (other than indulging your apparent predilections for abstract theoretical metaphysics and irrelevantly and inaccurately denigrating the Bible), then this discussion would have been quite different. In any case, the olive branch is a verbal metaphor in modern linguistic usage (a somewhat hackneyed and clichéd metaphor), but the olive branch does not really function as an independent visual symbol standing on its own in the iconography of modern Western cultures (rather, it generally merely serves as a subordinate part of more complex symbols, such as the dove-and-olive-branch, the flag of the United Nations, the obverse of the Great Seal of the United States etc. etc). AnonMoos (talk) 12:42, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Anti Christian symbol?

It is an upside down cross which is to show disrespect to Christ and it is also a broken cross - not being total horizontal. Simuliar to a swastika which is also an anti christian symbol being a broken croww. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:28, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

See subsection #Antagonism above. The 1950's peace sign was certainly not consciously devised with the intent of being an anti-Christian symbol, while as for an upside-down cross, see Cross of St. Peter. The swastika predates specifically-Christian uses of the cross... AnonMoos (talk) 12:42, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

peace signs

i have been hearing that peace signs are something to do with the devil is that true ? if so i will not allow my children to wear peace stuff .. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:56, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

See answer of 26 April directly above... AnonMoos (talk) 01:19, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Original Research?

Past Uses doesn't cite any sources and it appears opinionated. Please correct this. (talk) 16:41, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Crackpot section on other uses

The section on the other uses of the symbol, which is written in the voice of a person attacking the original story of how the symbol came to be, comes across as crackpot screed. Why is this in the article at all? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 7 November 2009 (UTC)


I have rolled back the changes made by [[2]]. The history of this page shows that they have attempted to vandalize this page on multiple occasions. Request a block be implemented. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kisama (talkcontribs) 21:14, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Why no Broken Rifle?

I do not understand why the Broken Rifle is not included here, and therefore have added it. Howard Clark (talk) 00:54, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Is more of a war-resistance / conscientious objectors' emblem, I think... AnonMoos (talk) 05:34, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Peace symbol

[3] --WhiteInKnights (talk) 17:06, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Crows Foot peace symbol

I included a subsection with the more ancient history. (talk) 17:56, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Layout of the article and images

The section entitled "The peace sign" beginning with the sentence, "The internationally recognized symbol for peace was originally designed for the British nuclear disarmament movement," continues on referring to a symbol, but there is no image of this symbol beside it. The image "The Peace symbol, originally the symbol of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament" is instead up near the introduction, "A peace symbol is a representation or object that has come to symbolize peace..."

I think it would be better to move that image down, so it is beside the appropriate text which refers to it.

"Pij" (talk) 01:46, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Nominee for worst article on Wikipedia

This may be the most deceptive and most intentionally poorly written article on all of Wikipedia. Kudos to the authors if this is what they were going for. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:30, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Removed section

I have removed this "Older uses" section:

Use during WWII by 3rd Panzer Division (Germany) of a symbol with the exact same appearance seems to be a parallel development not at all related to nuclear disarmament. Their original logo combined simply took on the characteristic Crows Foot shape. They likely chose it because the symbol itself is a Teutonic death rune, or the inverse of the forked cross (a symbol of life),[1][2] to this use, many such symbols were found on Nazi graves and called The Dead Man Rune.[3][4]

The Symbol itself has nothing to do with evil or satanism, but over time demonization of pagan beliefs by the Catholic Church as well as its use in WWII have branded the symbol with bad connotation. Due to this, many proponents of the peace sign believe that the history of the peace sign was "manufactured" to cast bad light on the nuclear disarmament movement, when in fact it is only a massive coincidence. (source?) Political interpretation or argumented fact?

It is all highly speculative and poorly sourced - a high school assignment PDF is not a reliable source! Someone had already flagged it as having problematic sources: as such it should not stand in the article. (talk) 10:12, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Fair enough, but if there is proof that they did use an identical symbol then this could be mentioned in passing without the poorly supported interpretations. --DanielRigal (talk) 11:23, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

The German army used it, but also used a large number of other similar basic geometric shapes, so it's not like the 1958 peace sign was singled out (nor did Panzer divisions generally commit most of the German atrocities in WW2):
etc. etc. etc. (I'm sure you get the general idea). AnonMoos (talk) 14:56, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree that it is entirely unrelated. All I am saying is that it might be worth a very quick mention, partially for the irony, but mostly so that anybody trying to look up whether there is a connection can find out that there isn't. --DanielRigal (talk) 20:19, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
This would be acceptable as long as we can find a reliable source that the confusion exists. A majority of the attempts to add this to the article have been less confusion and more ridiculous stuff about the peace sign being a satanic symbol. Disambiguating the Algiz connection (or, rather, lack thereof) is not going to stop vandalism from American conservatives. (talk) 20:55, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
There is something rather dodgy about this. For example, the symbol of the 4th Panzer Division appears in a photo at [4] as a crow's foot or Algiz rune in a circle, not touching the circumference, and with crossed swords beneath. Here [5] and here [6] it is shown without the swords, like this: 4 Panzer Division.JPG The drawing put in here [7] in Wikimedia has been changed to omit the swords and to make the crow's foot touch the circumference so that it looks like an inverted peace symbol, like this: 4th Panzer Division logo 2.svg In fact, the editor who made the drawing states quite openly that he based it NOT on a 4th Panzer Division source but on the peace symbol. There is clearly some doctoring going on here. The same may be true of the symbol for the 3rd Panzer Division, for which no source, documentary or photographic, is given. Marshall46 (talk) 14:50, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi Marshal, the source of the Symbol is the Webpage [8] and also the Book: P. Schmitz, K. J. Thies „Die Truppenkennzeichen der Verbände und Einheiten der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Band 1: Das Heer“, Biblio-Verlag 1987, ISBN 3-7648-2477-8
The source reliable and based on the official german service regulations (Heeresdienstvorschrift) and orders of the OKH.
Note that this symbols where introduced bevore the symbol was used as a peace sign. The Wehrmacht used it 1941-1945 as a symbol for their armoured divisions, while the peace sign came up 1958.
Kind Regards --Marco Kaiser (talk) 07:04, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
As I pointed out in my comment above, your drawing of the insignia of 4 Panzer Div is inaccurate, and that makes me doubt the accuracy of your drawing of the insignia of 3 Panzer Div. [9] is not good enough. It consists of modern drawings on a website about Panzer modeling without sources. I think we would want photos of the insignia on items that can be authoritatively identified as belonging to 3 Panzer Div. Does the Schmitz and Thies book contain such photos? Or does the Heeresdienstvorschrift contain pictures? If they do, and if you cannot put them on Wikimedia because of copyright restrictions, would you please scan them and send them to me by e-mail, which you can do via my user page? Marshall46 (talk) 08:23, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi Marshall, I can send you a copy of the book Wehrmacht Division Signs by Theodor Hartmanm ISBN 0-85524-006-7, where the 3rd Division is mentioned. Unfortunately, there is no photo of a tank with this sign but the sign is mentioned as sign of the 3rd. Kind Regards --Marco Kaiser (talk) 12:00, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

3rd Panzer Division logo.svg
3rd Panzer Division logo 2.svg
Thank you, I look forward to reading it. Samuel W. Mitcham in The Panzer Legions (2000) says the insignia of 3 Panzer Div. was the Berlin Bear and that "its divisional symbol was the peace symbol." (p.58) This is a misunderstanding. The 3rd Panzer Division symbol is shown on the top. The peace symbol is shown below. The peace symbol was sometimes mistakenly drawn without the lower centre spoke (making it look like the Mercedes Benz trade mark). Mitcham (and presumably others as well) has simply confused the mis-drawn peace symbol with the 3 Panzer symbol. Despite my best efforts I have been unable to find any photo of a Panzer item with the lower symbol on it, but several with the upper symbol and the Berlin Bear. I think File:3rd Panzer Division logo 2.svg should be deleted. Marshall46 (talk) 18:57, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
I may have been wrong in the above note. I've now looked at Theodor Hartmann, Panzer Divisional Signs (1970, Almark Publishing Co., London).
Hartmann describes the emblems of 3 Panzer Division as follows:
"This Panzer Division used two Divisional emblems at different times. Up to the year 1940 it bore a yellow runic emblem, a yr rune within a kreis (circle). (Fig. 60) In 1941 the emblem was changed to show an inverted letter 'Y' with two small digits all in yellow. This emblem was in use for the rest of the war. (Fig. 64) In addition to this last emblem this Division adopted the practice of displaying a white shield with the black Berlin Bear emblem alongside the 1941-45 emblem. ... (Fig. 83)" p.62.
Fig.60 is the same as the peace symbol and looks like this.
Fig. 64 looks like this.
Fig. 83 looks similar to this
The drawings in the figures referred to are by Brian L. Davis.
The yr or Y-rune can be seen here
On p.62 Hartmann shows a photo of a 3 Panzer Div. Vehicle bearing the Berlin Bear symbol and the inverted 'Y' symbol with two small digits, which he describes as "the official panzer emblem for this division." There is no photo showing the Y- rune within a circle.
How reliable is this source? Theodor Hartmann wrote no other books and is otherwise unknown. His publisher, Almark Publishing Co. Ltd., is obscure. It seems to have specialised in military books and books about model-making. It had a brief existence in the London suburb of New Malden in the 1960s and 1970s, although it was not dissolved until 1995. There are no footnotes in the book and the sources are vague. Hartmann and Davis acknowledge assistance with pictures and information from Peter Chamberlain, Howard Davies, James Lucan, David Nash, Les Roker, Terry Spencer and Hugh Page Taylor. They also thank the staff of the Imperial War Museum, London. However, even though there is no photo, it is 30 years earlier than Mitcham. Marshall46 (talk) 09:59, 2 August 2010 (UTC)


I'm going to set up automatic archiving of this talk page because there's far too much info; any discussion older than 30 days will be automatically moved to archives. If anyone objects, please let me know.Qwyrxian (talk) 00:57, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Other peace symbols

This section has no citations and some of it is dubious. For example, "Date palms are signs of peace and plenty in Judaism." This is repeated elsewhere in Wikipedia, but I am not aware of any evidence for it. On the contrary, in the Hebrew Bible and other ancient books, e.g. Maccabees, it has connotations of victory in battle. I will leave it for a bit, but if no sources can be provided I will delete it. Marshall46 (talk) 19:21, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Deleted. Marshall46 (talk) 10:29, 27 September 2010 (UTC)


This section has a photo from 2003. As this peace gesture originated in the 1960s, an earlier picture would be preferable. Marshall46 (talk) 19:23, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Peace flag

I've marked as dubious the claim that Franco Belsito was asked to make millions of flags. The links are dead, Franco Belsito is not mentioned in the entry Bandiere della Pace on Italian Wikipedia and Googling his name produces nothing. Unless better sourced I will delete. Marshall46 (talk) 19:41, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Deleted. Section improved with better references. Marshall46 (talk) 10:28, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Picture of early use of the peace sign

I have linked to a picture of the peace sign's first use on the 1958 march to Aldermaston. Although the website marks it as in the public domain, I don't think the documentation would satisfy Wikipedia, so I can't upload it. A pity, as it is a very nice picture and of some historical importance. Marshall46 (talk) 10:47, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Dove and olive branch

I tidied this section and removed, "The motif can also represent "hope for peace" and even a peace offering from one person to another, as in the phrase "extend an olive branch".[5] Wise Geek is a pretty random source and doesn't actually say anything about "hope for peace".

What is the origin of this peace symbol? The section gives the story of Noah's dove, but nowhere does the Bible say that it represents peace. The Greek reference given says nothing about peace either and the Roman reference says nothing about the dove. If no source can be given for this symbolism in Jewish, Christian, Greek and Roman culture, I will remove it. Picasso's drawings of the dove and olive branch for the peace movement in the 1940s did a lot to promote the symbol. That should be mentioned. Marshall46 (talk) 14:34, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

I've done some research and replaced this section. The idea about Noah's dove and peace may be a reading back into the Bible from the modern adoption of the dove and olive branch as a peace symbol, which I can't find any earlier than the 18th century. I've added a reference to Picasso and a picture showing his dove in use in 1952. Picasso's works are copyright so I can't include a direct reproduction, but it can be found in the BBC link I give. Marshall46 (talk) 15:48, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I've also added a 1917 use from Wikimedia. Marshall46 (talk) 10:30, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
It's not in the Bible, but nevertheless it was strongly influenced by the Bible... AnonMoos (talk) 17:08, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
The earliest use of the dove and olive branch I have been able to find is in C18th America. Where is the evidence that that use was "strongly influenced by the Bible"? Marshall46 (talk) 13:56, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I have added a reference to the olive in connection with the Greek goddess of peace, Eirene, from the 5th century BCE. I have also added an image from the Roman catacombs of a dove and branch explicitly labeled "Eirene", some 1700 years earlier than the £2 North Carolina banknote. Unfortunately the source does not caption it.
It may be that the symbolism is Christian rather than Jewish. It appears to combine the olive branch symbolic of Eirene/Pax with the Christian dove symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The combination may have been encouraged by the Noah story, but in the absence of documentary evidence that is conjecture.
There appear to be few secondary sources on this subject (as opposed to wild internet theories). Any good references gratefully received. Marshall46 (talk) 11:39, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I have put in a 3rd/4th century Christian picture of a dove and branch from the Catacomb of Priscilla. I would have preferred to put in this unambiguous image of the same period of a dove and branch next to the word "peace" in Greek, but there are copyright problems. Marshall46 (talk) 11:44, 30 September 2010 (UTC)


"Shalom" and "salaam" are the Hebrew and Arabic words for peace, they are not peace symbols. The passage about Mosh ben Ari's song, "Od yavo shalom aleinu" is particularly irrelevant. I have deleted this section . Marshall46 (talk) 20:28, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

However, when they are juxtaposed to each other, the composite result is sometimes used as a peace symbol...AnonMoos (talk) 09:55, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
If we are happy to include this wordmark as a type of symbol, I will put it back. Marshall46 (talk) 10:32, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Not sure what that's supposed to mean... It has nothing to do with corporate logos. AnonMoos (talk) 17:06, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Peace sign as Satanic symbol--info in lead

Please note that I moved the info being added to the lead into the main body of the text. I changed the wording so that it is sourced and NPOV. We cannot assert as a fact that the symbol is Satanic, as this is the opinion of only some people. Note, especially, that it directly contradicts what the designer himself stated the symbol means, as well as other reliable sources. Nonetheless, we can certainly include that interpretation. In order to consolidate the info, I moved it to a new subsection along with the John Birch Society interpretations. But this is a minority interpretation, and thus does not belong in the lead. If you have concerns with this move of the info, please discuss here--do not continue to just insert the same text without discussion. Thanks~ Qwyrxian (talk) 00:57, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

why is this section even included? Anyone can make up anything they want, doesn't mean it's a valid "alternative interpretation" or even an actual possible "interpretation". The word "interpretation" is too strong here, since it suggests that there is something to it, which is definitely not NPOV. How about renaming the section to remove the term "interpretation". (poorly) attempted revisionism is not the same as an interpretation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:46, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
While it's been a long time since I was exposed to Larson's theories, if I recall correctly, he and those like him hold that the official explanation is a lie, and that it's part of a greater anti-Christian and/or Antichrist worldwide plot. Or something like that. We can't call it revisionism, because that's a POV judgment; "interpretation" merely means an analysis of what something means, thus it is accurate to label it as an "interpretation" (I think it's a bad interpretation, but that's neither here nor there). If we have broad consensus, ideally with reliable sources, to show that this theory is not widely supported, we could label it (and possibly the John Birch Society interpretation) as a Fringe theory, which would mean it should be excluded per WP:FRINGE. My feeling is that the theory is probably too widely held to meet such a criteria, but I would be open to arguments stating otherwise. For me, I'm fine leaving it there, as each theory only gets one sentence, with one summarizing sentence; that seems like a fair balance to the large section above containing the more likely and more widely held interpretation.Qwyrxian (talk) 03:01, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
This theory, if it can be called that, originated with David E. Gumaer in 1970 (see article) as part of the John Birch Society's anti-communist paranoia. Larson and others have simply repeated him. I have minimized it by removing the sub-heading "alternative interpretations". Marshall46 (talk) 12:34, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't want to give the impression that I take this crackpot idea seriously, but I am curious as to its origin. Eric Austen, who adapted Gerald Holtom's orginal design to a lapel badge in 1958, is reported by Christopher Driver in The Disarmers (1964) to have discovered that the two arms pointing downwards in the CND symbol has "long been associated with 'the death of man'". Austen is often quoted in this connection, and, as far as I can see, Driver is the only source for Austen's observation.
Where did Austen find out about this supposed "long association"? We don't know, but shortly before the CND sign was designed, in 1955, an English edition of Rudolf Koch's The Book of Signs was published, which shows a symbol like the lines in the CND sign, without the circle, captioned "The man dies". It is fair to surmise that this is where Austen, an artist, got his idea from.
Koch's book was translated into English by Vyvyan Holland. Holland's edition has no introduction, footnotes or bibliography. It is completely unscholarly and is given a false air of antiquity by being printed in Gothic type. I don't know when Koch (1876-1934) published his book and I haven't been able to find any references to the original German edition, but from the information available it appears that the attribution of the meaning "the man dies" to this symbol is speculative. It is possible that it derives from the speculations of Guido von List, (1848-1919), an occultist fruitcake and proto-Nazi who believed in the magical power of runes. Marshall46 (talk) 13:41, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
By the way, symbols are arbitrary and conventional. They have no "real" or "natural" meaning. What the peace sign means is the meaning given to it, i.e., peace. Marshall46 (talk) 13:46, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I myself was taught this theory when I was an impressionable teen, and I now consider it to be completely without merit (mainly because I don't believe in worldwide Satanic cult conspiracies, which one kind-of has to do in order to buy the theory as a whole). But I know that many people do, that a few reliable sources have made or repeated the claim, and so I figured one to two sentences couldn't hurt. I think it looks fine without the subheading.Qwyrxian (talk) 13:57, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
You can perfectly easily discredit a nonsensical theory without having to resort to beating up on Rudolf Koch, who was highly respected in several areas. The book was printed with Gothic type to give it a quasi-William Morris aesthetic, not to pass it off as some kind of pseudo-medieval manuscript. In any case, Koch died in 1934... AnonMoos (talk) 20:53, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I think the edition you are referring to is Holland's 1955 translation. If you have any information about Koch's original German edition, please let me know. Marshall46 (talk) 10:29, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Koch's book was first published as Der Zeichenbuch in Germany in 1923 with woodcuts by Fritz Fredel. It was first published in English (in Holland's translation?) in 1930. Koch doesn't seem to have got his idea about "the man dies" from von List. In Das Geheimnis der Runen ("The Secret of the Runes") (1908) von List says of the symbol, the Yr-rune, 'The "yr-rune" is the inverted "man-rune", and as it designates the bow, so too does it present the waxing and waning moon in contrast to the full moon of the "man-rune", and so in the first instance it refers to the mutability of the moon, in the second instance as the "error-rune"-referring to the lunarlike mutability of the feminine essence, portrayed in later verses of the "Havamal".' (p.19) Where, then, did Koch get it from? Marshall46 (talk) 14:45, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I have finally got hold of Gumaer's 1970 article, and he draws heavily on Koch, in particular Koch's drawings of the yr rune labelled "The Crow's foot or witch's foot" and "The man dies". Koch via Gumaer therefore appears to be the ultimate source of the idea that the centre of the CND sign has occult and Satanic origins. Koch's book is a series of bald statements without explanation or sources, so it is impossible to know where he got his ideas from or whether they are merely conjecture.
For good measure, Gumaer also says that the peace symbol is identical to the Nazi "death rune", so he is the origin of that idea as well, which does not occur in any publication earlier than 1970.
Much of the case for saying that the CND symbol has a Satanic significance is based on the similarity between the symbol and the yr rune, which looks like this Yr rune.png, and which has been said to be an occult sign. But runes are simply the letters of medieval Germanic alphabets used before the adoption of the Roman alphabet. In the late 19th century, some writers, of whom von List was one of the most influential, said they had an occult significance. Rudoph Koch included the yr rune in Das Zeichenbuch, but he gave it a different meaning to von List's. The Nazis took up rune occultism, giving the runes yet another meaning. Rune occultism has since been taken up by pagans and Neo-Nazis. These occult interpretations of the runes are wholly fanciful, mutually contradictory and are not supported by the academic study of Germanic languages.
Crackpot that he is, even Gumaer asks a question that doesn't occur to the people who copy his ideas into this article: "Couldn't some of these similarities, striking as they are, be no more than a series of unhappy coincidences? Yes, they could be." Marshall46 (talk) 16:35, 3 November 2010 (UTC)