I was in despair. Deep despair. I drew myself: the representative of an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goy’s peasant before the firing squad. I formalised the drawing into a line and put a circle round it.The logo is a semaphore for the letters Nuclear and Disarmament, but also it’s a self portrait. The logo is widely known as the peace symbol. A cross with the arms broken, signifies the “gesture of despair,” and the “death of man”. Quotes from letters Bertrand Russell, the president of the CND at the time, wrote in response to H. Pickles from Lichthort Verlag who wrote to complain that the peace symbol was a death symbol because the arms pointed downwards.
I am afraid that I cannot follow your argument that the ND badge is a death-symbol. It was invented by a member of our movement as the badge of the Direct Action Committee against Nuclear War, for the first Aldermaston March. It was designed from the naval code of semaphore, and the symbol represents the code letters for ND. To the best of my knowledge, the Navy does not employ signallers who work upside down.
March 6, 2005