This beautiful, thought-provoking poster from 1970 contains an impassioned appeal for peace. It came about when the organization Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam and the group the Fellowship of Reconciliation joined to sponsor a seventy-five day “Lenten Passover Fast Action Project” to maintain public focus on the Vietnam War protest movement. The Project organized daily fasts in homes and cities and also in front of the White House from Ash Wednesday through Passover in 1970.
The poster design is notable for several reasons. Its simple illustration of a red balloon, within which is a circle encompassing the outline of an intertwined parent and child, is a powerful reminder to think of the legacy of peace for the next generation. The red color of the balloon is most likely a reference to an earlier demonstration in Vietnam by Buddhists who released 500 red balloons in a plea for peace and a protest against the war. The lovely blue sky of the poster serves as a contrast to the red balloon.
Perhaps the most important part of this poster is the text which is an eloquent anti-war manifesto that begins, “We are tired of war.…” It continues in impassioned detail to list why war must end, why peace is necessary and why a non-violent strategy for the future is needed. It is as relevant today as it was fifty years ago.
This timeless poster reminds us all of what is important and why.