Peace Through Culture
It is known the year 2000 and the first decade of the new millenium were announced by the United Nations and UNESCO as consequently the year and decade of ”Culture of Peace against cult of war”.
The motto ”Peace through Culture!” and The Banner of Peace as a symbol of Culture were suggested by Nicholas Roerich in 1929.
The first legal Pact, specifically dedicated to the preservation of cultural values, was signed in Washington on April 15, 1935. The Pact was called The Roerich Pact and Banner of Peace.
The Hague Convention of 1954 concerning the preservation of cultural values during military conflicts originated from the principles of The Roerich Pact and Banner of Peace. The idea to introduce in practice a sign of protection was also recognized there. Unfortunately, The Banner of Peace was replaced by a symbol in the shape of a shield.
Roerich did not think of The Banner of Peace as a sign of protection only. It symbolizes all of humanity treasures that unite peoples and embrace art, science and religion in the circle of Culture.
The Banner of Peace as an international symbol of Culture brings us to understaanding of a sense of Progress and the significance of Peace on Earth. Indeed, mankind would do well to use the symbol of Cullture in the same manner as The Red Cross. Both of these signs appealing to our collective consciousness are reminders of human responsibility and charity.
Set by UN and UNESCO the task of finding deliverance from the possibility of military conflicts completely corresponds to the idea of Roerich for Peace through Culture. A living example of the uniting power of Culture appeared to the world through the peace struggle of the Estonian people for independance and restoration of it later on.
Only through individual effort of everyone can The Banner of Peace rise above our Planet!
Tallinn, August 1999
Estonian Roerich Society