Sanity

Sanity was a monthly newspaper produced by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament from 1961 to 1991. Sanity reported world news related to peace and civil rights, launched and promoted CND campaigns and, as here, published manifestos and other public declaration of principles, intentions and demands.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) was launched in February 1958 at a massive public meeting in London. CND advocated unilateral nuclear disarmament (that Britain should get rid of its own weapons in the hope that other countries would follow its lead). The first major march for nuclear disarmament took place over the Easter weekend of 1958.

CND's methods of activism and strong symbolic identity had a cohesive effect. People began to participate in disarmament protests on a large scale. The peace movement provided a focus for growing anti-establishment sentiments and helped to create a generation of politically aware, politically active young people.

The CND logo made its first appearance at the first march to Aldermaston, displayed on 500 cardboard lollipops on sticks, which were carried by protestors. The symbol is made up of the semaphore letters N for nuclear and D for disarmament (semaphore is a system of flag signals which spell out the letters of the alphabet).

The first badges bearing the symbol were made of white clay with the symbol painted on them in black. They were distributed with a note explaining that in the event of a nuclear war, these fired pottery badges would be among the few human artefacts to survive the nuclear inferno. When world events suggested threats to world peace sales of CND badges increased: in November 1961, after a series of Russian nuclear tests, 22,500 badges were sold.

The CND logo remains one of the most widely recognised symbols in the world; both as the symbol for CND and as a general symbol for peace.