The internationally recognized symbol for peace was originally designed for the British nuclear disarmament movement by Gerald Holtom in 1958. Holtom, an artist and designer, made it for a march from Trafalgar Square, London to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston in England, organised by the Direct Action Committee to take place in April and supported by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). Eric Austen (1922-1999) adapted Holtom's designs to ceramic lapel badges.
The symbol is a combination of the semaphore signals for the letters "N" and "D," standing for "nuclear disarmament". In semaphore the letter "N" is formed by a person holding two flags in an upside-down "V," and the letter "D" is formed by holding one flag pointed straight up and the other pointed straight down. Superimposing these two signs forms the shape of the centre of the peace symbol. The original drawing by Gerald Holtom of the CND symbol is housed in the Peace Museum in Bradford, England.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is an anti-nuclear organization that advocates unilateral nuclear disarmament by the United Kingdom, and for international nuclear disarmament and tighter international arms regulation through agreements such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It opposes military action that may result in the use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and the building of nuclear power stations in the UK.
CND was formed in 1957 and since that time has periodically been at the forefront of the peace movement in the UK. It claims to be Europe's largest single-issue peace campaign. Since 1958, it has organised the Aldermaston March, which is held over the Easter weekend from Trafalgar Square, London, to the Atomic Weapons Establishment near Aldermaston.