a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Friday, March 21, 2008

Peace sign bling bling?


English textile designer Gerald Holton wasn’t thinking of rhinestone-studded key rings when, five decades ago, when he became the first to scrawl what would come to be known as a global symbol of peace.

Holton had a much more serious issue on his mind, like trying to defuse atomic bombs.

He wanted his symbol to represent the flag signaling positions of N and D but for them to take on a new meaning of nuclear disarmament in advance of a protest march to a nuclear testing facility in England on Good Friday in 1958.

The peace sign grew in popularity as the emblem of the anti-Vietnam War movement in America during the late 1960s and 70s. Some people carried them to flash in the faces of riot-patrol cops who were about the club them in the head for protesting the war outside such places as the White House.

After the war ended, the peace sign went on to become the emblem of pot-smoking losers while the hippie generation conformed, had children and settled for saving the planet.

Today, we can purchase a glittering silver key chain bling in the shape of a peace sign beside shelves lined with stash boxes decorated with marijuana leaves at any Spencers gift shop.

Sorry but peace sign bling is not my thing.

But click here to see what a peace sign means to a veteran who served in Vietnam.

And then click here to see cool shots of the 50th anniversary protest in England.

1 comment:

Brant said...

Producers of peace sign bling don't care whether oldsters like Scott and I buy this stuff. They're targeting the kids. I recall when I was a youngster, there was a store at the Franklin Mall, I think it was called Chess King, that had some wacky stuff. I bought a replica of Mao Zedong's hat and wore it everywhere, even though my knowledge of Mao consisted solely of the fact that he led the Communist takeover of China. The fact that he was a "Commiee" didn't deter me, because it was really cool hat. That's why they target kids. Their taste is all in their mouths.