Posted by Brett Kinkel

Through the everyday, we look to graphic symbols to aid in our routines of travel, computer interfaces, company branding recognition, etc. Though, they’re are times in history when we’ve called upon the use of symbols to create significant influence in our lives. When an arising need presents itself for the wellbeing of humanity, we’ve seen such symbols as the infamous Red Cross symbol, developed to specifically signify an effort or position of care.

The Banner of Peace, by Nicholas Roerich was one such symbol that was created for an upmost important task, when careless destruction from war threatened our world culture. In the early 1930’s, Roerich (a Russian archeologist, philosopher, and humanitarian) felt the need to promote unity, control, acceptance, and security among cultures for their valued historical, scientific, artistic, and religious landmarks and institutions. During times of war, it is often these facets of humanity, which are overlooked for their future value by forces and left to suffer by means of intentional demolition or collateral damage.

The Banner of Peace symbol was chosen to stand for the Roerich Pact ideals and practices, which were enacted April 15, 1935 under the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments. The symbol itself was not only used as an identifiable branding for the movement, but it was also functional as an on-site marking (usually as a hanging flag) outside specific structures and areas where they would be considered neutral or off-limits to destructive forces during conflicts. It was this perseverance of unique cultural existence, that would allow us to not only retain historic artifacts, but aid in our continued growth as a whole. Banner of Peace

The symbol is composed of three centered circles representing spirituality, the arts, and sciences. The containing circle represents the uniting world-culture we share. Roerich also described the outer circle as the eternity of time, while the use of the color red signifies the common blood of humanity.

The Banner of Peace is still seen today as a mark of unity around the world and is still in use by organizations that promote similar ideals and services to humanity. This is an example of a symbol, which was not only applied to an abstract idea and found significant application, but continues to influence and contribute to the world and greater communication.

Unlike the Red Cross symbol, the Banner of Peace has not become as universally recognizable within the public eye or seen nearly as much wide-spread application. Does the symbol lack the design thought? Does it serve a less important function? Please comment and leave your thoughts.

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