How the symbol for extinction became this generation’s peace sign
The beautifully simple design is everywhere following the protests of Extinction Rebellion – but why are its origins still shrouded in mystery?
The 1960s counterculture had the peace symbol, 1980s rave culture had the smiley face, and now 2019 has its own ubiquitous logo: the extinction symbol, signifying the mass movement against climate breakdown and destruction of the natural world.
Following the recent, successful actions of Extinction Rebellion (XR) in London, across the UK and globally, the extinction symbol has been everywhere: on coloured flags and banners, on clothes, spraypainted on to buildings (such as Shell’s London headquarters). People even lay down and arranged their bodies in its shape. It has appeared as far afield as Ghana, New Zealand and Hong Kong. It has featured in artworks and tattoos. It has arrived.