Peace Sign Tattoos

Peace Sign Tattoos

Many people are familiar with the peace sign and peace tattoos as one of the most visible icons of the 1970s, when protests against the Vietnam war were widespread and vocal. However, the humble peace symbol was actually born in 1958, the brainchild of the leader of a nuclear disarmament movement in London.

Peace sign tattoos come in a vast variety, sometimes incorporating other familiar symbols of faith and love such as a heart, flowers or dove, and other times by themselves as a simple statement.


Where Did the Peace Symbol Get its Shape?

Peace Sign

N + D = Nuclear Disarmament

The peace symbol got its shape in semaphore, a method of ship-to-ship communication using colored flags. Holding the flags in certain positions indicates letters of the English alphabet.

Holding a flag in each hand in an inverted V shape communicates the letter N, while holding a flag straight up and a flag straight down indicates the letter D. Together, these letters signify "Nuclear Disarmament", and when the shapes are superimposed over one another they form the familiar shape of the peace symbol.


Symbolic Meaning of the Peace Sign

Peace sign tattoo on a girl's under lip

With wars continuing overseas, pacifists and supporters of bringing our troops home may choose to have a peace tattoo placed somewhere visibly (such as an arm, wrist or shoulder) to express their longing to peace. Those with friends or family members serving in the military will sometimes add personal details, such as dog tags, a yellow ribbon (another symbol that encourages the safe return of troops) and the name of loved ones that have fallen or been wounded in battle.

Though the physical symbol itself was created to discourage nuclear war, the meaning behind the word and concept of peace is obviously much more far-reaching. For those going through a transformation, a difficult time in their lives, or simply taking steps toward being a better person, peace sign tattoos can be a reminder of their goals. The peace symbol tattoo combined with a dove or heart worked into the image turns the antiwar symbol into something more personal.


Design Variations

The peace sign can be embellished with a lot of different images to make your tattoo more personal.

Some additions have included:

  • Vines and flowers
  • Ironic symbols, such as a bio hazard sign
  • Stars
  • Fire / Air / Earth / Water
  • Camouflage patterns
  • Celtic or tribal patterns
  • A flag, usually the flag of the US


Celtic peace sign tattoo       Peace sign tattoo with the flag of the US


Incorporated into the well-known "arms" of the peace sign, these little flourishes can turn a universally known insignia into something individualized. Generally, additions are made to frame or highlight the peace symbol and not to obscure it; even surrounded by additional tattoo artwork, a well-done peace symbol tattoo should be visible and prominent.

Unlike some tattoo designs that celebrate new fads that may not endure, the peace symbol has been popular for almost fifty years, loved by tattooed men and women from all walks of life. Simple enough to be drawn in any size, this sign can be easily recognized when drawn large or small. The basic shape is easy to draw, ensuring that even the most novice of artists can apply it without any problems.

Click to enlarge...

Peace symbol tattoo on a girl's neck Peace sign tattoo on a girl's hands Simple peace sign tattoo behind a girls's ear
A peace sign tattoo combined with flowers Peace sign tattoo combined with a vine Tattoo design of a peace symbol, combined with the earth and a star
Peace sign tattoo in the shape of a tear Colorful peace sign tattoo design Peace sign tattoo design
Peace sign tattoos on a man's arm Colorful peace sign tattoo Peace skull tattoo
Peace drop tattoo Peace and hearts tattoo design Peace sign tattoo drawing
Heart peace tattoo design Feminine peace sign tattoo design Butterfly and peace tattoo design
Shalom tattoo Daisy and peace sign tattoo Peace heart tattoo
Peace dove tattoo design (with yin yang) Peace sign tattoo design with wings Hebrew peace tattoo design
Black peace tattoo design Colorful peace tattoo design Peace symbol tattoo design
Peace heart tattoo Peace turtle tattoo on foot Peace, ohm and tree tattoo
Peace sign tattoo design Peace sign and music tattoo design Flowers and peace sign tattoo design
Peace sign and flowers tattoo Peace sign and dove tattoo on a woman's back Peace sign words tattoo
Peace sign and stars tattoo design Peace dove tattoo design Peace sign tattoo art


 You'll also like our Stars and Hebrew Tattoo Designs...