The Block Island Times

Peace signs

By Judy Tierney | May 17, 2011

Picky Judy's Picks — Peace signs are everywhere in local clothing shops. It seems almost an oxymoron to see so many of them when it feels like we are constantly at war.

The trend toward peace sign accessories began last winter. I got an inkling of it when I received a gray scarf with black peace signs from a dear friend. She told me she bought it in New York. The cloth is a light cotton, and its texture resembles that of the scarves worn in Arab countries.

Saturday I walked into Strings and Things and saw that they are carrying the same scarf in gray, in red and in pink, all with the black peace signs. Then I noticed a hat with peace signs in another shop.

At the same time, I received a many times forwarded e-mail from relatives claiming that the University of Kentucky had cancelled Holocaust content in their courses due to Muslim pressure. One relative wrote, “Isn’t this going too far?”

I thought so, too, and answered her that it did not sound believable. I checked it out on and plugged it into Google as well. Both indicated it was a hoax. What shocked me was the fact it has been circulating since at least 2007, when the University of Kentucky officially denied it.

It has been feeding the fires of hatred for four years, yet all anyone has to do to check it out its veracity is to go to I don’t know who would post such an outright lie in the hopes of increasing the anger and problems that already exist in the world.

Maybe peace sign accessories express a collective yearning among many of us for a return to sane discourse and arguments fired across dining room tables instead of bunkers. Maybe if we all start wearing those clothes instead of jungle camouflage, our message will be received where it counts.

While I was in Strings and Things, I bought a second peace scarf. This one is red.  I’ll think of John Lennon and stay optimistic about peace when I wear it.


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