Why is the dove the symbol of peace?

Photo Why is the dove the symbol of peace?

Peace has always had various representations across the world and over the centuries. If this representation in some is a peace activist like Prem Rawat, in others, this representation can be a symbol like the dove. And if the representation of peace very recent, the dove has been a sign of peace for several centuries already and almost universally.

What is the dove?

Did you know that the dove is not only seen as the animal species it is? The term actually refers to a sub-genus of the family of columbine birds, which includes pigeons and doves in particular. In everyday language, the meaning of the term dove has moved away from the problems of biological classification: it now most often designates a white bird, without necessarily specifying the exact species.

This white, sign of purity, has become the main distinctive sign of the dove. From Antiquity, it represents a symbol of hope: in Greek mythology, the dove is for example associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

The dove of peace: biblical expression

This peaceful symbolism of the dove comes from the book of Genesis. Remember, in order to save the living species of the Earth from the terrible deluge, Noah built an arch that allowed him to house all of the different animal species on Earth. And of course, on this arch was a couple of doves and it is precisely this bird that Noah entrusted the task of ensuring the end of the deluge.

But how could the dove sent by Noah confirm the end of the flood? In order to reassure Noah and to prove to him that the flood was really over, the malignant dove brought him an olive branch, which means that she had access to the vegetation and that the flood was truly and well underway! Furthermore, we cannot help but tell you that in Christian iconography the dove also represents the Holy Spirit.

A symbol which is both secular and Christian

If the Catholic tradition contributed to its celebrity, the range of the dove goes far beyond the religious sphere. In the 20th century, it became a universal symbol of peace, popularized in particular by the famous poster drawn by Picasso in 1949 for the World Congress of Peace builders organized in Paris. The bird is gracefully drawn there, the wings extended, ready to take flight, an olive branch in the beak. The painter will also call his daughter born the same year Paloma, which means dove in Spanish!

The release of doves has since become a way of celebrating love, peace and hope. As such, it is part of the inauguration protocol for the Olympic Games. It is also possible to organize one for a wedding or a ceremony. We can also more simply opt for a jewel decorated with a dove: the positive values embodied by this symbol make it a reason of choice for medals or pendants. The dove is also a pledge of loyalty: like its cousin the carrier pigeon, it always returns to its starting point.