Maire's original post: http://mairedodd.blogspot.com/2012/03/six-month-notice.html
and the blog that she started: http://flagsforpeace2012.blogspot.com/ got a lot of us thinking about how we could increase awareness about the pursuit of world peace and how we might get our "positive vibes" out there to be felt by others. I think that most people chose to make actual flags but I've not been in a fiber frame of mind during the last year. I've only spent a little time crocheting and knitting when in past years, it's been almost impossible to separate me from my hooks and needles. I chose to go a completely different route.
When I started thinking about my submission to the flags for peace project in recognition of the International Day of Peace, I first made a list of images that are associated with the concept of peace.
- Peace symbol created using the semaphore symbols for N & D (nuclear disarmament)
- “V” hand sign using index and middle fingers (In WWII, it meant “victory” but was adopted by war protestors as a hand symbol for “peace”)
- International Peace Flag (rainbow flag with the word “Peace”)
- Olive Branch [Goddess of Peace (Eirene or Pax) held an olive branch in her outstretched hand & symbol was later adopted by Christians]
- Dove (Christian motif)
- White Poppies as used by the Women’s Cooperative Guild who wished that the white poppies that they distributed would serve "as a pledge to peace that war must not happen again"
- Buddhist motifs such as prayer flags and prayer wheels (they suggest the arduous path to inner peace and eventual world peace)
- Outstretched helping hand
- Hindu and Jain motifs (There is a variety of symbols for “ahimsa” or peace of nonviolence which served as the basis of Hinduisn, Jainism, and Buddhism. This was the core of Gandhi’s beliefs and teachings.)
As I pondered those symbols, I realized that I did not want to fall back on those because most of them have their origins in religion or are actually considered subversive (the circular and hand peace symbols) by certain segments of the American population. I wanted to make something that could symbolize what I believe embodies “peace”. I first chose an evergreen tree but realized that it could be confused with a cedar of Lebanon. So, I simplified my choice to that of a green leaf because a leaf that is green is still alive and growing and can represent our growth as we walk our individual paths to inner peace. A green leaf can symbolize environmental balance. I believe that we must return nature to her proper balance before we will ever be able to attain “world peace”. I think that understanding nature leads to a greater understanding of man. It is my theory that the universal needs such as food, clean air & water, unpolluted land on which to live and farm, and human rights will be what eventually unites the world in the common goal of “peace” because all the wars are not furthering those goals. These wars of ideology are not helping anyone.
My object is not a flag to be hung outdoors but is instead a pendant to be worn to remind the wearer that the goal of world peace will be attained only through the works of each individual.
A rectangle of poplar wood is layered with etched copper that has a leaf-shaped window with crocheted green cotton thread peeking through.
The back of the pendant was branded with the words “Path To Peace” and a spiral as a physical representation that the path to peace will not always be easy or comfortable.
The individual stitches of the crocheted cotton represent each of the many things that we can do to achieve the goal of “world peace”.