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The Peace Symbol and Hippie Culture

Page history last edited by Chelsea Williams 13 years ago

Peace Signs and Hippies 




      By the middle of the 1960’s, the peace symbol had become highly recognizable and popular in use among the counter culture. Hippies, youth that made up the counterculture, were rebellious in every sense, rejecting commercialism and big business for “shared property, spiritual growth and health foods” (Kosbun, 90). The first documented use of the peace sign by the hippies occurred in the 1966 novel Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King. The book featured a character whose jacket had the design featured on the back (Miles, 123). This novel spread quickly as did the popularity of the peace sign among these youth. Along with the hippie culture and the explosion of the peace sign on popular culture items came a sexual revolution, drug usage and a free, creative spirit. Posters and artwork featured bright psychedelic colors, swirling patterns and the words “peace” and “love” (Kosbun, 91). The peace symbol quickly became the community's identifying visual feature. Worn on clothing necklaces and signed by hands, the peace symbol became a dominant representation for their ideas of communalism, freedom and personal growth. The design was also prominantly displayed on vans, cars and housing throughout the 1960's and 70's. The hippies’ use of psychedelic drugs and colors also led to the first large change in the peace sign’s representation. No longer was the peace sign a black and white image as designed by Holtom. The design took on any color and design imaginable, to represent the views of this new community.  


PEACE SIGN: End Terrorism--CAP    PEACE SIGN: Join Anti War Marches--CAP         PEACE SIGN: Hypnotize Mind 1--CAP          PEACE SIGN: Tie Dye 1--CAP           PEACE SIGN: Celebrate Diversity--CAP          PEACE SIGN: Pinko--CAP




Hippies and Flower Power

      Along with the adoption of the peace symbol, hippie culture also applied their idea of peace and love to their common phrase "flower power". They used flowers such as daisies to represent friendship, love and preservation of the earth as another symbol along with the peace symbol. Images of flowers being placed in guns, like the one below, became prominant throughout the 60's in an anti-war effort. Songs also featured references to flowers such as Scott McKenzie's "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair".



                 (www.treebadger.co.uk)                                                                     (http://www.last.fm/event/96940)                          (http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2008-10-22-flowerpower.jpg)




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