Is the Peace Symbol Satanic?

The Question

I’ve heard that the peace sign (that looks like an upside down broken cross inside a circle) was satanic. Can you tell me if it is true and if so, what is its origin?

D. From Warren, Ohio


The Answer
Part 1: Unclear origins

Unclear origins (Part 1)

The minute I read your question I was ready to jump in and give a big resounding YES as the answer. I’ve always heard (and automatically believed) that the popular so-called peace symbol was really demonically inspired. I’ve personally avoided the symbol on clothes, decals or any artifacts. But your question prompted me to do some research because I like to back up what I say.

As far as the origin of the modern peace symbol I have found out the following. Back in the 1950s the British philosopher, Bertrand Russell, headed the CDN (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) and was looking for a symbol to accompany mass marches and sit-downs in London. The one that was settled on was created by a professional designer named Gerald Holtom and completed on February 21, 1958.

The original sketches are preserved at the School of Peace Studies at Bradford University. The symbol stood for the death of man and the unborn child and was designed based on the naval code of semaphore—the flag signaling system--using the code letters for N and D to stand for nuclear disarmament. It became wildly popular and has been borrowed and adapted ever since for anti-war or non-violence movements worldwide. It has deliberately never been copyrighted; a freedom symbol, free to all.

Hmmm. Now that doesn’t sound so Satanic does it? No, but many feel this symbol is not so new. It has been associated with anti-Christian sentiments and satanic rituals since the first century. At various times it has been called the broken cross, crow’s foot, witch’s foot, Nero’s cross, sign of the broken Jew and symbol of the anti-Christ. It also has roots associated with the ancient Germanic rune of death.

Did the modern day designer have any of this in mind back in 1958? Was there a deeper agenda? It has been noted that Russell was an atheist, a communist sympathizer and an admirer of Hitler. Did he influence the design, even if at a subconscious level? I don’t know the answer to that and I don’t know if any more in depth researchers know it either. So what can we conclude?

Symbols may be very powerful but their meaning might change over time by people, through events and history. Simple design motifs like the peace symbol lend themselves to adaptation because the whole idea is to employ something that is uncomplicated and easily identifiable.

In the end, we should be very careful before jumping to conclusions without clear proof. Since I don’t have definitive proof I will not conclude absolutely that the symbol in question is satanic. I’d rather say we just don’t know. Whether you reject or embrace it, in all cases let’s follow Jesus’ admonition to his disciples: “be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

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