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Semaphore Peace

Occasionally, maligned as an anti-Christian symbol, a satanic character, or even a Nazi emblem, the iconic peace symbol was designed by Gerald Holtom for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1958. The vertical line in the center represents the flag semaphore signal for the letter D, and the downward lines on either side represent the semaphore signal for the letter N. “N” and “D”, for nuclear disarmament, enclosed in a circle. Holtom also described the symbol as representing despair, with the central lines forming a human with its hands questioning at its sides against the backdrop of a white Earth. It is said that Holtom originally considered using a Christian cross but disliked its association with the Crusades and ultimately chose something he considered to be more universal.

I wanted to represent the symbols origins so tilted it at the angle of the semaphore flags and painted it those colours too. I didn’t outline this piece which was something really hard for me not to do as I have this idea that “framing” work means it’s more professional. I eventually felt that it was strong enough without.

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