Sunday, June 14, 2009

Flag Day

Sunday was Flag Day. I've seen quite a few nice peace flags over the years, and especially now with the peace sign back in full force, I thought I'd sketch a flag design that includes something about what peace involves (above).

I feel as though I've stepped back about 40 years in time, seeing the peace sign ubiquitous again!
I remember about 10 years ago, our Nonmilitary Options for Youth group brought one of our first literature displays to Austin High School to ask the counselors there if they would place the display next to the recruiting literature. We had permission from the district to make our materials available to students in the high schools. The counselors at Austin HS held a meeting to decide about our display, and we were told later that they would take the literature, but not our (home-made) literature holder. Why not? Because one of the counselors put his foot down, saying the peace sign on the display was "too controversial." They designated a shelf for us instead. I wonder what that counselor thinks now with every other student wearing peace symbols -- and probably some of the counselors, too!

The peace sign turned 50 years old last year. It was designed by Gerald Holtom, a British conscientious objector and textile designer, for use during an Easter march against nuclear weapons in England. Holtom used the semaphore signals for N and D (for nuclear disarmament), overlapping them to form one symbol. The logo caught on quickly and spread to the US not long after.
Long may she wave.

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