This week we were fortunate enough to chat with Tim Holtom, nephew of Gerald Holtom, the designer of the original international peace sign in 1958. In December of 2012, Tim synchronistically found TP on Facebook and sent us a message about how his uncle would have approved of the Time-Peace symbol. Needless to say, we were super excited about the opportunity to pick Tim's brain...
Time-Peace: What were your uncle's intentions behind the meaning and symbolism of the original peace sign?
Tim Holtom: Initially, since the symbol was created for the CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) Organization, it was designed with that in mind, and signifies the semaphore for ND:“Nuclear Disarmament.”
TP: How do you think the current peace sign has affected human consciousness?
TH: At best, it still represents a call for peace and it continues to be displayed with that end in mind. However, as we all know, it has recently become more of a fashion icon that people casually wear without necessarily sharing the deeply held philosophy behind it. Still, I am grateful for its status in any context, whether it be displayed on a piece of jewelry, or on a canvas bag, or any such item - perhaps it carries a message subliminally that resonates in the subconscious of humankind.
TP: Why do you think the symbol was kept that way and not flipped right side up?
TH: When the signs were first employed, at the Aldermaston March in 1958, they were displayed on what were affectionately referred to as “lollipops” which were carried by protesters during the demonstration - this was the first time they had been seen in public, and although my uncle was later inspired to flip the design over, alas, it was too late to adjust all the placards, banners, and lollipops in time for the occasion, so the inverted symbol became a footnote reflecting a metamorphosis in the peace concept, an expansion, if you will, from the limited goal of nuclear disarmament towards “UNILATERAL” Disarmament, UD in semaphore, which is what the inverted sign would stand for.
TP: In your opinion, how could flipping the peace sign help change the world?
TH: My thought is that in addition to the inverted sign representing UD, it might also signify an illustration of a human being raising his arms above his head in a gesture of either celebration of life, or, possibly even, surrender, with the body language suggesting a kind of look over here at me stance, I carry no weapons, I am “disarmed”, I threaten no one, I am free, my hands carry no weapons, I am alive and I have no intention of defending myself, I am here at your mercy, unencumbered, vulnerable, true to the concept of “turning the other cheek”, and perhaps hinting at the motif within the concept and images contained in the symbolism of Yggdrasilkin, the Tree of Life, that exists free of the constraints of time and space, in a zen-like mindset, at PEACE with the universe, accepting that LOVE and LIFE are eternally intertwined, and growing ever stronger, and that our existence on this planet is only worthwhile and meaningful if we can discover peace at the core of our human state, that our true state of being has now reached a point where we have the capacity to realize that we are now fully evolved and ready to embrace an unconditional dedication to living in PEACE, no longer bound by our former primal, fight/flight warrior like mentality that has for too long held us in bondage, programmed to continue the incessant fight for survival that has consumed mankind for generation after generation infecting us with intolerance and inducing us to commit abhorrent acts of aggression against one another. This attitude that would continue to distort the undermine our sole purpose for being here should be decreed redundant henceforth; no longer should we pay homage to such a primeval model of existence.
TP: What would your uncle have thought of the Time-Peace symbol?
TH: I am certain he would have LOVED it, unreservedly; to me, it represents everything he stood for, and I am sad he didn't live long enough to witness and, indeed, endorse your most excellent design. Perhaps, in some other dimension, he is smiling down at you, eh...
TP: What are your thoughts on TP's four universal principles? (Time is an illusion, Perception creates reality, Everything is interconnected, The Universe is in alignment)
TH: Wonderful - a perfect nutshell ensemble that contains the four kernels of truth that we need to move to the next stage in our evolutionary journey. We are at the beginning of the New Era, the planets are arranged, and the party is about to start. No Time, No Space, No Separation - All is One - All is LOVE!!!
TP: If your uncle had a chance to look through our entire collection, which Time-Peace would he would wear?
TH: My wife, Ronda, and I have perused the collection and have come up with three possibilities:
TP: Last question... If Bedeekin and your uncle sat down for pizza and ice cream, what do you think they'd talk about?
TH: Of course I cannot know for sure, but perhaps such subjects as "the lonely sea and the sky", French cuisine, Dylan Thomas, Bertrand Russell, Eckhart Tolle, the Montgolfier Brothers, organic farming, solar power, Saab, architecture, philosophy, physics, zen and the art of hydrofoil maintenance, and, no doubt, where to get a great glass of red wine...and, of course, laughter would abound.
TP: Thank you so much Tim. This has been amazing, we truly appreciate it.
TH: Thank you for providing me this opportunity to consider all this - it has been warming to my heart to spend time contemplating how my Uncle Gerry might have liked me to answer your questions; I hope I have done his memory justice!