IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Peace Symbols: some thoughts

Hi, me again.  There are some pretty standard peace symbols, and you are probably familiar with most you can see here .  I like them all, even if some, again, are associated with AAH’s (Anti-government Aging Hippies 🙂 ).  I would like to talk a bit about the dove, and maybe widening the images from the animal kingdom that we associate with peace.  First, I understand the background of this, originally at least, Judaeo-Christian symbol.  Noah sent out birds after the rains to see if they brought back any signs of land to the ark; and the dove brought back an olive branch (Genesis 8:11).  Then God made the rainbow to appear in the sky which symbolized that He would, as part of his covenant, never again destroy the earth with water.  So, the rainbow is also a symbol of peace.

Don’t get me wrong I love the dove as peace symbol.  I have several dove pins (brought to me by my wife from Lourdes, the center of Catholic pilgrimage in France), and even a dove on my key chain.  However, I also have a dolphin on my key chain, and I have to admit, that I really like the dolphin as a symbol of peace, harmony and tranquility.  They have come to represent ecological awareness, and they are often seen as playful and reflecting a kind of innocence.  They even, probably fortuitously of course, look happy.  These are qualities that I associate with positive peace (on all levels).

My goal is not to wax lyrical about the dolphins and detour into New Age thought (not a bad thing, by any means), but just to suggest that the dolphin has a place among those images that represent and conjure up feelings of peace.

(and, of course, for Douglas Adams fans…it was the dolphins who tried the hardest to save the planet–and even thanked us for all the fish! 🙂 )

There are many nice dolphin images, and here is one I like.

Other suggestions?


July 25, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,


  1. For me personally, I like the image of the Earth in a photo taken from the moon/space. I think it is important to realize that it wasn’t very long ago that human beings were able to see our planet from an external view for the first time. I think the view of our planet provides one of the best arguments for living in a peaceful and sustainable world.

    Comment by Nathan Andover | August 16, 2008 | Reply

  2. A few years ago I was discussing non-denominational images of faith with a friend who is the pastor at an airport. His chapel serves people of various faiths. It seemed like the dove was the most appropriate image we were able to come up with, as it communicated peace which is common to everyone without being offensive to any. The hippie peace symbol has its limitations as it can be interpreted as a fallen cross.

    The most ‘peaceful’ dove I’ve ever seen is one that was created by Pablo Picasso for a world peace conference. It looks so ponderous and gentle. A quick google search brought up the image on this web-log:

    I’ve never thought of the dolphin or the rainbow as peace symbols. I do like the symbol of the earth as seen from a distance. It puts forth the concept that we are all here together on this planet and we should learn to get along.

    Comment by flandrumhill | December 27, 2008 | Reply

    • Thanks…actually, I’ve been thinking that there could be many more: yin/yang for instance, since it represents balance and complementarity.

      Comment by igbarb19 | December 27, 2008 | Reply

  3. I am participating in a project to make a peace quilt sponsored by a women in the arts organization. I’ve been trying to research the subject of peace for the past few days and your comments and website have given me more inspiration than anything else I’ve found so far. thank you. Oh, and… I’m with you on the dolphins.

    Comment by wendelyn | March 10, 2009 | Reply

    • Thank you for kind comments…please consider sending me a picture of the quilt so I can put it in the blog.

      Comment by igbarb19 | March 10, 2009 | Reply

  4. I’m also a quilter and would be interested in seeing your completed work too wendelyn.

    Last year I worked with a few other women to create a prayer quilt. The layers of a prayer quilt are put together with knots (instead of quilt stitches). A prayer is said for the recipient of the quilt as each knot is tied. I think everyone benefits in the creation of such a quilt. It was one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever done in my life.

    Comment by flandrumhill | March 10, 2009 | Reply

  5. wow, cool page its so cool i love your pic of the dove!!!

    Comment by summer | March 19, 2009 | Reply

    • It’s open source…feel free to borrow and use for a good cause.

      Comment by igbarb19 | March 19, 2009 | Reply

  6. […] some of you know, I am rather partial to dolphins as peace images (though I’ve got nothing against doves either, obviously), and here we have […]

    Pingback by Keys to Peace « IG’s Peace Blog | May 7, 2009 | Reply

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