What’s your sign?

Pardon me, but I have a lot of questions today.

Do you have any bumper stickers or magnets on your car? Perhaps an emblem of your favorite sports team, your child’s school or your alma mater? An American flag? Or one of those trendy oval black-and-white, initialed stickers from your favorite vacation spot? Or do you prefer to wear your political beliefs on your bumper?

I’m just glad we live in a country where we’re free to express ourselves without persecution. I appreciate the price we pay for these freedoms. I am happy to be living in the United States and consider myself patriotic.

But you wouldn’t know it from some reactions I get to the one embellishment I have on my car. 

It’s a peace symbol.

My husband has a theory that I was stopped and treated rudely by that North Carolina trooper back in April because my peace sign provoked him. Since then I have noticed dirty looks from strangers. Then recently someone very close to me made a comment implying that my magnet was unpatriotic—that it runs counter to supporting our troops.

Am I being naïve or do some people actually consider the peace sign offensive? Is peace not something we all desire for our nation and our world? Or do some Americans perceive it as symbol of military surrender or un-Americanism?

I placed this magnet on my car for two reasons.

First, it was made by a company that promotes positive images in communities and schools and donates part of its proceeds to world hunger relief. With the bumper sticker sphere becoming so mean spirited these days, I thought a nice, happy, peace-ful image would be a refreshing change.

Second, if I had one simple message to convey from my rear bumper, it would be “peace.” Inner peace, world peace, peace within families. Peace on earth, good will toward men.

My peace sign is not intended to make a political statement.

Do I wish our country were not at war? Yes. Do the parents of our fallen wish for peace? I don’t know. I’d like to think so. Do I wish there were peace in the Middle East and in the Sudan and in Congo? Very much so. Do I display my peace sign as a message that the United States should wave the white flag all over the world? Heavens, no.

Are there patriotic Americans who do not wish for peace? I am starting to wonder.

For now, until someone beats me up over it, or convinces me how it is offensive, I’ll leave my little magnet right where it is.


Filed under All Things Wordish, Family and Friends, Politics, Travel

7 responses to “What’s your sign?

  1. Marty

    Amen sister! Your best blog to date. Many people view world conflict as sporting events. My team is better than yours. I am right and you are wrong. None of us have the right to judge others!

  2. Nell Alano

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I too have a peace symbol on my car and never for one moment did I think it was not supporting the troops! I think the key here is how judgemental we can all be at times. I know I am guilty of giving dirty looks to a driver when he’s cut me off, and then find myself at another time inadvertantly cutting someone off myself. We are all so quick to shoot someone that look(which I have down). You’ve reminded me of the great slogan… Live and let Live and today I’m going to try and do just that!

  3. Sheree Moyer

    I have a peace sign on my car and…a peace sign toe ring, finger ring, bracelet, earrings and necklace that I wear almost every day. The peace sign was designed in 1958 as the symbol for nuclear disarmement. It propelled the V of our fingers as the other sign of peace. How could anybody think this sign is offensive? I am sure our boys at war do not think so. They wish for peace more than any of us on the sidelines. I wear my peace signs in support of our troops. In support of world peace and tolerance.
    However on a side note – I am always the one pulled aside at the airport for bomb inspections of my suitcases and strip searches. I look so hostile decorated from head to toe in peace signs!

  4. Pat Abrams

    When we are at Mass, they say, “Peace Be With You.” We also are asked to show the sign of peace which is either a hug, shaking hands or some warm acknowledgment of the people around us. I wear my peace sign on the back of my car proudly and I am sure when all our troops return home, they will have a fervant prayer for peace.. Isn’t freedom and peace something to shout about?

  5. Anita Lawson

    Back in the late ’60s, when some of us wore it as an anti- (Vietnam) war symbol, it was used against us in bumper stickers with the tag line, “Footprint of the American chicken.” Plus ca change…

  6. Polly

    I have the same decorations — along with ‘coexist’ ones. I’m a firm believer that it is a political statement. I stand for the thoughtful consideration of war as a last resort, not something hastily brought about to put our soldiers (pawns) in harm’s way for the sake of vicariously fighting for weak men in power.

    Thoughts lead to beliefs. Beliefs lead to words. And words lead to actions.

  7. William Greene

    Patrick Henry is credited with saying “I may disagree with all my heart with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Since the ‘peace sign’ appeared in the sixties, his words have rung clearly in my ears. This is the ultimate strength of our country, up to and including our blog.

    I have one bumper sticker: “We Say Merry Christmas”. It is a subtle way of reminding everyone that “Happy Holidays” doesn’t cut it for me and mine.

    If I were solicited to attach an emblem to my very precious and personal bumper, it would reflect most of all your expressed feelings regarding ‘peace’. It would be a Cross of Calvary.

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