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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.