Pax Cultura (version 2)

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Pax Cultura (version 2)

Pax Cultura (“Cultural Peace” or “Peace through Culture”) is the motto of the cultural artifact protection movement founded by Nicholas Roerich, and is symbolized by the above symbol.

According to the Roerich Museum, “The Banner of Peace symbol has ancient origins. Perhaps its earliest known example appears on Stone Age amulets: three dots, without the enclosing circle. Roerich came across numerous later examples in various parts of the world, and knew that it represented a deep and sophisticated understanding of the triune nature of existence. But for the purposes of the Banner and the Pact, Roerich described the circle as representing the totality of culture, with the three dots being Art, Science, and Religion, three of the most embracing of human cultural activities. He also described the circle as representing the eternity of time, encompassing the past, present, and future. The sacred origins of the symbol, as an illustration of the trinities fundamental to all religions, remain central to the meaning of the Pact and the Banner today.”

On April 15, 1935 an international treaty known as the Roerich Pact was signed by the United States and 20 Latin American nations, agreeing that “historic monuments, museums, scientific, artistic, educational and cultural institutions” should be protected both in times of peace and war, and identified by their flying a distinctive flag, the Banner of Peace, bearing the Pax Cultura emblem. The Soviet Union signed the treaty in 1959. The scheme was to be a cultural analog to the Red Cross for medical neutrality.

The emblem of the Roerich Pact is still a valid protective sign in the relations between certain states.

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