On this date, February 21, in 1958, Gerald Holtom was commissioned to design a logo for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’ upcoming march in London against nuclear war. The march was scheduled for Easter 1958, a little over a month away.
Holtom, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, combined the semaphore sign for “N” for “nuclear”, showing the arms pointing downwards in opposing 45 degree angles to the body and the semaphore sign for “D” for “disarmament” showing the right arm pointing straight up and the left arm pointing straight down. He placed the simple line combination in a circle representing the earth. The result was the peace sign.
Holtom passed away in 1985, but he believed that, since this was a symbol of peace, anyone in the world could use and display it absolutely free of charge.