The Peace Symbol
Every year where I live, there is a city fair. Oh, it has the usual things small towns have: carnival rides, truck pulls, livestock auctions, lots of food (that is probably no good for you, but it sure taste great) and a great parade. My children just love parades. Several floats and people all dressed up, waving their hands and throwing out gobs of candy. This year however, in addition to throwing candy in our hands and on the streets, they were passing out necklaces with a particular design on them. My daughter was given several. Furthermore, she was given many stickers that also had this design or symbol on it. And so, as little girls do, she went to put them on. But, I had to ask her not to wear them and she wanted to know why? Daddy, why can’t I wear the necklace? Well, it was not long after that we went to Wal-mart where we were looking for some things and lo and behold, there that design was on children’s shirts. Again, my daughter reminded of the parade, asked what that design or symbol means.
The symbol was of “the Peace Symbol” as it is commonly known today. This symbol is made into jewelry, embroidered on clothing, stamped on stationary, bumper stickers, posters and even toys. It is worn by several different people who call it a peace symbol. But, is this what it really means and more importantly, can a Christian wear it in good conscious?
The modern use of the symbol began in England, February 1958. It was designed for us in the Aldermasterson Easter Peace Walk as an emblem of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. According to Parade Magazine, June 28, 1970, the symbol was suggested by the late Bertrand Russell, a philosopher who is remembered for his atheism and his pro-communist beliefs. Not only was Russell anti-God, he was, by his own admission, in league with Satan. Now, Russell did not design the symbol, but he did adopt a well known symbol of the Anti-Christ. If you look carefully at a peace symbol, you will see that it is a cross, turned upside down, with the arms broken. The circle was later added to the design.
The origin of the “Peace Symbol” dates back to the first century. According to Nestrorius the Syrian, the Patriarch of Constantinople (428-431 A.D.), the Roman Emperor Nero (54-68 A.D.) designed the symbol as a broken cross to show his personal disrespect for Christ at the crucifixion of Simon Peter (Peter was supposedly crucified head down on such a cross, but not confirmed). Yet, from that time until this present generation it was known as the “Nero Cross” and was freely flaunted any place and on any occasion where the anti-Christ theme prevailed.
The symbol has also been called a “witch’s foot” and a “crow’s foot.” It was used in the middle ages as an omen of evil and death. Rudolph Koch describes the use of the symbol in his book of Signs (Dover Publications, p. 83). Marquis de Concressault says, in symbol of the Anti-God, (Brittany press, 1969) that the symbol is visible in several 16th century wood-cuts illustrating the Black Mass and the Witches Sabbath, as an ornament on their altars. The symbol was often referred to then as “the mark of the beasts.” Contemporary Satanists Anton LeVey said in November 1968, that a modern day “Black Mass” includes making fun of the cross by walking on it, or by hanging it upside down. This was done both to show defiance of God and faith in Satan. Mr. Richard Wurmbrand, a minister, was imprisoned and persecuted by the secret police of Rumania. When he was finally released, he stated before a congressional committee that “this communist peace symbol is still commonly recognized in Europe as a symbol of the devil.”
Christians are certainly in favor of peace, since we follow the Prince of Peace. But, no Christian should want to wear, support, or show respect for any symbol which indicates allegiance to the opponents of Christianity. If one must have a peace symbol, let it be something which honors Christ, the outward appearance of the heart. Let it be the Christian light in the world (Matt. 5:16; Eph. 5:11).