"Where there is peace, there is culture
Where there is culture, there is peace."
(Nicholas Roerich, 1874-1947)
The Banner of Peace is a powerful universal symbol which was adapted by the visionary artist Nicholas Roerich to serve as an emblem for the desire of human culture to rise above war. This flag has been flown globally, as a sign of peace and culture, since the 1930's.
The Roerich Pact and Banner of Peace is an international treaty signed by India, the Baltic States, and 22 nations of the Americas including the United States. The Roerich Peace Pact established an international agreement allowing any nation to protect its cultural or artistic heritage with a symbolic banner, the Banner of Peace. Signed in 1935, this treaty is international law today.
Written with the assistance of international experts and lawyers, the Banner of Peace was praised by many notable figures during its signing including Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, and H.G. Wells. The Pact states, “educational, artistic, and scientific institutions... shall be protected and respected by the belligerents... without any discrimination as to the state allegiance of any particular institution or mission... these missions may display a distinctive flag (the Banner of Peace)... which will entitle them to special protection and respect...” Thus any site of cultural activity around the world can fly the Banner of Peace to declare itself neutral, independent of combatant forces, and protected by international treaty.
The distinctive banner has three red circles surrounded by a larger red circle on a white banner. The banner is a deep red or magenta color to symbolize the color of our one blood, which is the same for all peoples. The top circle represents spirituality and encompasses the truth of all religions, that we can all unite regardless of our distinct beliefs. The two circles on the bottom represent art and science. The circle that surrounds the three spheres represents culture, the unity of art, science, and spirituality.
"Bridge of Glory" painting by Nicholas Roerich