Peace Sign Tattoo Meaning, Design & Ideas

Throughout history and within different cultures around the world, there are many different symbols that represent ‘peace’. The most common symbol however since the 1950s has been the one that we all know today, which is the circle with a line going down the center, halfway down two other lines branch out to the rim of the circle.

If you decide that you would like a tattoo such as the peace sign, it is suggested that you understand and know the history of how this symbol came about in the first place. Down below will be the history of the peace sign, different peace sign tattoo designs, placement, and other variations of the symbol for peace.


It was not until after World War II in the 1950s that the symbol was created. Before this time, religious groups such as the Christians would use other forms of offering peace. These included the bird known as the dove and an olive branch. Doves being peaceful and beautiful birds who seem to fly freely through the air were perfect examples of a symbol of peace.

The image of an olive branch was another form of signaling peace. The olive branch was used in ancient Greece as a sign of peace and victory. This idea quickly spread to Europe and all over the Mediterranean basin area.

A British man by the name of Gerald Herbert Holtom was an artist and designer, this is the very man we can thank for the symbol of the ‘peace sign’. This simple symbol was originally used for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. This was an organization that was against the military use of nuclear weapons along with chemical and biological weapons.

The organization was also against the construction of nuclear power stations in the United Kingdom. This organization was highly successful in its fight against creating nuclear war among other countries. This symbol, much like how we do today, was worn as a way of protesting the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, which was highly effective and grew in popularity over later years all over the globe.

Peace Designs

The peace symbol is so simple that it can virtually be tattooed anywhere you would like on your body. Not only will it fit basically anywhere but you can have it sized however you would like. This is, of course, if the design itself has nothing added to it. If you would like a peace sign tattoo that has more details, the placement and sizing may change. The symbol made its debut in the 1950s and was most popular amongst the ‘hippie’ movement in the 1960s and 1970s.

The symbol still holds true today with constant battles and wars being fought around the world, there will always be a group of people who protest this fact and just want world peace. Having a symbol of peace tattooed on yourself not only shows that you are a peaceful person, it shows that you are a humble and considerate individual.

The peace sign can be illustrated in a number of different ways. There is the classic symbol, the circle with the three lines, or you can take this simple image and add on more details. Details can include things such as doves or birds, plants, animals, and basically anything else that may pertain to nature, because after all, being out in nature is one of the most peaceful things you can do.

Vines, Flowers, Mountains

Constructing your peace sign can be fun and really adds to the creative sense of your tattoo. If you are one who loves being out in nature and you want something pertaining to peace in the outdoors, creating a peace sign that has these elements involved is a great idea. The peace sign has four different open sections to it where the lines divide themselves. Having a scene of each one of the four seasons is an idea.

One section could be covered in green plant life, another filled with leaves and pumpkins, the third section devoted to the snowfall of winter, and last but not least, the melting of the snow with flowers blossoming to start the cycle again signifying springtime. The four elements, wind, water, fire, and earth are other examples to fill in the sections with.


Adding color to your peace sign is another fantastic idea if you decide to take your design to the next level. Since the hippie and radical movement took place near the start of when the peace sign came about, many of the hippies and others alike would wear tie-dye clothing. Having a colorful and tie-dye-like peace sign as a tattoo adds a psychedelic and loving vibe.


Since the peace design is quite an easy piece to draw up, getting this anywhere on the body should not be too much of a problem. Depending on whether or not you want it to be seen by others will help create an idea of where you would like it. Those of you who are not afraid to show your love for the symbol of peace often get this tattooed in easily seen places. The forearm or the upper arm are good places to start, especially if you want your peace sign to be on a larger scale size.

For those of you who want the peace sign as a tattoo but do not devote a ton of time to it, this is an image that can easily be done quickly in small spaces. The back of the neck is another example of where others may get it, this location is good if you have long hair and want to cover it up from time to time. Others have even gotten the peace symbol sketched on one of their fingers, or spotted on the webbing between the thumb and pointer finger. The wrist is another popular spot to have the peace sign, as well as the ankles.

The neat thing about having this tattoo on your wrist is when you go to give someone the peace sign with your fingers, the image of the peace sign will be visible as well. If you get this tattoo with more details and want those details to be seen clearly, getting the peace sign on your back or on the shoulder blades is another popular placement.

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