1971 Gemini Rising Poster. The peace sign turns fifty years old. Over the past five decades the peace sign has become one of the world’s enduring icons. The original peace sign was developed in 1958 by a British textile designer and conscientious objector named Gerald Holtom. He created the symbol by combining the semaphore letters N and D, for nuclear disarmament. On Feb. 21, 1958 the symbol was accepted by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War. The symbol soon began to be used in anti-nuclear protests across Britain and then spread across the globe.