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Jenny
298231.  Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:57 pm Reply with quote

Is the story about Nelson originally wanting to signal 'England confides that this day every man shall do his duty' and being asked by the flag officer to change it to 'England expects' because it was easier to signal widely known do you think?

 
Flash
298243.  Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:10 pm Reply with quote

It's better than that - the signal given to Pascoe was "Nelson confides ... " etc, not "England". But we did it already.

 
Flash
299273.  Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:35 am Reply with quote

The CND Peace symbol was based on the semaphore for ND (amongst other things):
Quote:
It started life as the emblem of the British anti-nuclear movement but it has become an international sign for peace, and arguably the most widely used protest symbol in the world. It has also been adapted, attacked and commercialised.

It had its first public outing 50 years ago on a chilly Good Friday as thousands of British anti-nuclear campaigners set off from London's Trafalgar Square on a 50-mile march to the weapons factory at Aldermaston.

The demonstration had been organised by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War (DAC) and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) joined in.

Gerald Holtom, a designer and former World War II conscientious objector from West London, persuaded DAC that their aims would have greater impact if they were conveyed in a visual image. The "Ban the Bomb" symbol was born.

He considered using a Christian cross motif but, instead, settled on using letters from the semaphore - or flag-signalling - alphabet, super-imposing N (uclear) on D (isarmament) and placing them within a circle symbolising Earth.


Quote:
I drew myself: the representative of an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goya's peasant before the firing squad.
Gerald Holtom




http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7292252.stm

 
MatC
299351.  Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:37 am Reply with quote

Very tangential - but I do like this anecdote (don’t know whether it's as apocryphal as it sounds) about a message wrongly decoded.

Anna Freud once won an award for her contributions to psychoanalysis, and received a telegram from some admiring therapists:

“Congratulations - signed, the rapists of Philadelphia.”

S: Sunday Telegraph, 13 Jan 08.

 
MatC
299357.  Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:41 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
The demonstration had been organised by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War (DAC) and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) joined in.


I think that’s wrong; I think CND was a new union of a number of organisations, including this one. I’ll have a look ...

 
MatC
299360.  Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:46 am Reply with quote

Here’s the official history:
http://www.cnduk.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=435&Itemid=131

Quote:
It was designed in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a professional designer and artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Arts. He showed his preliminary sketches to a small group of people in the Peace News office in North London and to the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War, one of several smaller organisations that came together to set up CND.


Some more interesting stuff there:

Quote:
Five hundred cardboard lollipops on sticks were produced. Half were black on white and half white on green. Just as the church’s liturgical colours change over Easter, so the colours were to change, “from Winter to Spring, from Death to Life.” Black and white would be displayed on Good Friday and Saturday, green and white on Easter Sunday and Monday.


Quote:
The first badges were made by Eric Austin of Kensington CND using white clay with the symbol painted black. Again there was a conscious symbolism. They were distributed with a note explaining that in the event of a nuclear war, these fired pottery badges would be among the few human artifacts to survive the nuclear inferno.


Deeply unsurprisingly, it turns out that

Quote:
Various far-right and fundamentalist American groups have also spread the idea of Satanic associations or condemned it [the CND logo] as a Communist sign.


and finally ...


Quote:
Although specifically designed for the anti-nuclear movement it has quite deliberately never been copyrighted. No one has to pay or to seek permission before they use it. A symbol of freedom, it is free for all. This of course sometimes leads to its use, or misuse, in circumstances that CND and the peace movement find distasteful. It is also often exploited for commercial, advertising or generally fashion purposes. We can’t stop this happening and have no intention of copyrighting it. All we can do is to ask commercial users if they would like to make a donation. Any money received is used for CND’s peace education and information work.

 
MatC
302247.  Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:04 am Reply with quote

Further CND notes:

Historian Keith Flett wrote in the Morning Star, 17 Feb 08:

Quote:
But 50 years of what is one of the world's great protest movements does deserve some historical context. Radio 4 has already had a go in the form of Archive Hour. The former Tory MP Matthew Parris produced a programme with the revealing comment that Tories like himself were always troubled by CND - they knew that they had no effective answer to the point that, if used, the bomb would mean the end of the world as we know it.


Quote:
Gerald Holtom's CND symbol, which is now a universal sign for peace and protest, caught a mood and perhaps one that was receptive, as the new advertising and PR worlds of the late 1950s opened up to the idea of a visual representation.


and current CND chair Kate Hudson wrote in the Morning Star, 20 March 08:

Quote:
A lasting consequence of the first march was the famous symbol produced for the march by the artist Gerald Holtom, which also celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
It became the CND symbol and is universally recognised as the sign of peace. The artist explained the symbol in the following way. "First, the semaphore for the initials 'n' and 'd.' Second, the broken cross meant the death of man, the circle the unborn child. It represented the threat of nuclear weapons to all mankind and, because this was new, the threat to the unborn child."
Very soon after that, the symbol came to adorn badges, posters, leaflets, mugs, banners. Ever since, it has been graffitied on to walls and virtually any available flat surface all over the world.

 
MatC
303003.  Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:21 am Reply with quote

Another artist who was involved in designing the early CND look was Gustav Metzger (born 1926), who escaped to Britain from Nazi Poland aged 12.

Quote:
In 1960, he was a founder member of the CND Committee of 100 and designed its pamphlet. That same year, he urged artists to boycott the commercial gallery system and has avoided it himself ever since. In return, the mainstream art world ignored him for the next 40 years.


Through most of his life, he was marginalized not only for his basic subject matter (anti-capitalist) but his media which were chiefly ephemeral: “performances, articles, manifestos and installations.”

Quote:
Respected by a few people for decades for his integrity and seriousness of purpose, he has finally been accorded major exhibitions in non-commercial venues. He is a living legend.
At a rare public lecture titled Art and Compromise at the Beaconsfield Centre for Contemporary Art, over 300 people, the majority of them in their twenties and thirties, pack the hall to hear him. The overspill audience have to make do with a video link in the cafeteria.


Quote:
Metzger calls on artists to instigate change. "I've come to the conclusion that the art community should phase out the art galleries ... to save art. Secondly, we should phase out the auction houses."


Quote:
His previous works and actions appeared far-fetched in their time, yet they now reveal acute prescience. In 1961, his public work Auto-Destructive Art Demonstration, which was re-enacted in 2006, was accompanied with a manifesto which ended: "Auto-destructive art is an attack on capitalist values and the drive to nuclear annihilation."
In 1966, Metzger's chemically created light projection Art of Liquid Crystals in Better Books in London's Charing Cross Road surprised or shocked passers-by, yet light shows later became staples of rock concerts.
From 1977 to 1980, Metzger declared an "art strike," arguing that artists had produced quite enough art without using up more of the Earth's resources.


S: Morning Star, 19 March 08

 
suze
303212.  Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:10 am Reply with quote

MatC wrote:
Another artist who was involved in designing the early CND look was Gustav Metzger (born 1926), who escaped to Britain from Nazi Poland aged 12.


Nazi Germany, in fact - although of partly Polish ancestry, Metzger spent his early childhood in Nuremberg. Which is as well, since he was 13 on 10 April 1939 and the Nazis didn't roll in until 1 September!

 
Flash
303560.  Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:49 pm Reply with quote

The biggest territory which doesn't have a flag: Greenland. (I'm willing to be contradicted on this as it comes from a pretty unreliable source - the same one that tells me that vessels of the Royal Navy fly two white ensigns when in action, in case one is shot off and gives the impression that they have surrendered.)


Last edited by Flash on Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:51 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
96aelw
303562.  Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:51 pm Reply with quote

I fear it obtained one in 1985; disturbingly un-green, though.

 
suze
303591.  Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:26 pm Reply with quote

Great attention to spurious detail shown by the Greenlanders though - that link also shows Greenland's coat of arms, which depicts a polar bear. It seems that the original design (used by the Queen of Denmark in her capacity as Queen of Greenland) had the bear with right paw raised, as is heraldic tradition.

But for Greenlandic use this has been reversed, since "everyone knows" that polar bears are left handed. Except that they aren't, of course ...

 
Flash
303611.  Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:25 pm Reply with quote

Of all the people to be ignorant of Polar Bear habits ...

Thanks for putting me straight on the flag, though. This old copy of Look & Learn is going straight back in the bin behind the village hall.

 
MatC
303821.  Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:31 am Reply with quote

Send it to me and I’ll burn it for you, Flash. I was once at a school where Simper & Suckup was the only “comic” not banned. I have dedicated the rest of my life to tracking down copies of the tedious, smug, child-hating rag and destroying them.

 
eggshaped
342907.  Fri May 23, 2008 9:21 am Reply with quote

The Panamanian golden frog communicates with other frogs by semaphore in the form of gentle hand waves.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7219803.stm

 

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