A Quick Glance at the Origins of the Peace Symbol.

- -

Being from the South, of course I'd heard the old (neoconservative) wives' tale that the peace symbol is meant to be an inverted, broken cross. I was killing time reading some hilarious article on Cracked.com, and found this site alleging that Mikhail Gorbachev is the antichrist, somehow. From the site:
The modern peace symbol is, in fact, a satanic symbol called the "Cross Of Nero" (Nero was a Roman emporer who was infamous for his ruthless persecution and murder of Christians). The symbol is an inverted, broken Christian cross in a circle and is supposed to signify the defeat of Christianity (see Bob Larson's book, Satanism, p.109). This represents how peace in the modern world is a false, antichristian peace.
Oooooookay.... A quick Google search didn't pull up any sites that don't reference this conspiracy theory, leading me to believe that it is probably made up—what we in the 'biz call "complete horseshit". An even quicker Wikipedia search brought me to the page for "Peace Symbol", which has a nifty little explanation of the symbol's origins, in semaphore code:
The symbol itself is a combination of the semaphoric signals for the letters "N" and "D," standing for Nuclear Disarmament.[1] [...] Superimposing these two signs forms the shape of the centre of the peace symbol. In the first official CND version (which was preceded by a ceramic pin version that had straight lines, but was short lived) the spokes curved out to be wider at the edge of the circle, which was white on black.[1][5][6]
To me, that's actually still kinda a neat origin. It's worth noting, as well, that the symbol wasn't just thought up organically by artistic hippies, but rather designed by a professional designer, Gerald Holtom, in 1958 for a march for nuclear disarmament in England. Pretty neat.

I think it's too fashionable on the left to think of the people in the peace movement in the 60s as great heros who effected world-wide change, when really none of it's lasted and baby boomers are the super uptight generation now. Likewise I really don't think it's okay to portray them so dishonestly as to say their motives weren't at least in the right place. I may be jewish but I know a thing or two about Jesus, and I'm pretty sure he'd be into peace, too. Also, despite my hebrew handicap the Revelation of Saint John is actually one of my favourite parts of the Bible, and I'm not entirely sure where people are getting the idea that a generation of people trying to use a combination of nonviolence and (ironically) violence to bring about world peace, and failing (at least for now), has anything to do with the antichrist or Nero or any of those folks.

Here's my theory. Looking throughout history, as far back as the industrial revolution, every generation or so there's one dude that people label as the antichrist, and there's usually at least one group of people somewhere absolutely convinced that we're in the End Times. We weren't, of course, 'cause nothing's ended yet really, but over the years people have become absolutely convinced that one time or another would be the end. I guess people are so sore that nobody had a camera during the beginning, so we all hope to witness the end. I really don't hope that, but whatever. The real question is why are people so fixated on it? When do they find time to live their lives when they're always panicking. So strange. Peace, space cadets.