Perhaps the artist Gerald Holtom would never have realised how widespread the image would be when he offered to come up with designs for the Twickenham branch of the newly established Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in February, 1958.
Originally he had sought to use a Christ-like crucifix inside the circle, which would have looked very different indeed.
But instead, the Royal College of Art graduate turned to semaphore flags as his guide to creating a lasting image, using the signals for “N” and “D” to come up with the new symbol.
It was unveiled before the Campaign’s first march to the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment in the Berkshire countryside.
I spoke with Folkestone historian Mark Hourahane about the artist’s legacy for people in the town. He said: “His connection to Hythe is important for us to remember, it was one design job which has left a lasting impression around the world.
“You see pictures from protests around the world, such as in China, where you can’t understand the writing, but you see the symbol and you then know the reason they are protesting. The symbol is hugely important.”
Perhaps the symbol has lost some of its original meaning as being a tool to organise people as part of a campaign calling for unilateral nuclear disarmament.
During the late 1950s and early 1960s, the movement grew and in terms of political polling the highest number of people supported scrapping the arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and working for a world free of the terror of nuclear war.
It was one of the largest mass movements that drew on wide sectors of public support, from radical anarchists, revolutionary socialists, and communists to liberals and pacifist campaigners.
But what is interesting, as CND marks its 60th anniversary, is how the symbol for the campaign has been adopted by successive social movements and protest campaigns.
In the United States it took on a meaning of “peace” but was also a widely used logo in civil rights struggles and the anti-Vietnam war movement.
This carries on right through to the present day, as many banners of protesters against the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and campaigners against Britain renewing its Trident nuclear missiles capability show.
“It took hold in the public imagination because of the sense of urgency about the growing dangers of nuclear weapons - never before had a mass movement and symbol become so quickly entwined. It was there at the beginning and it is with us now.
“Its meaning is constantly renewed as the struggle continues, over Trident replacement, against military interventions – and to prevent a looming nuclear war.”
What I like about it, is the fact it has been adopted in subsequent struggles, both against war and imperialism but also in domestic politics.
For the left, while there will also be divisions about effective actions, resistance and protest, I think this one symbol is an example of how many different fights can be linked, and how those who seek to make the world a better place can find common cause with others around the globe.