Polynesian objects from early European exploration, £19.99
Diameter: 38.000 mm
Gift of the Organisationen til Oplysning om Atomkraft
Coins and Medals
Badge of the Organisationen til Oplysning om Atomkraft
Denmark, around AD 1984
An anti-nuclear power badge with the 'smiling sun' emblem
This badge was issued by the Organisationen til Oplysning om Atomkraft (OAA) (Organisation for Information on Nuclear Power) based in Copenhagen. The symbol of the sun suggests renewable energy sources as alternatives to nuclear power.
An anti-nuclear group in Arhus in Denmark created the 'smiling sun' emblem in 1975. The copyright was then handed to the OAA, which went on to produce the badge in many different languages, including English. The organization also issued manufacturing licences to bodies in other countries. The profits from the 'smiling sun' were used to campaign for a non-nuclear world, partly through the Smiling Sun Foundation set up by the OAA in 1978. By the end of the 1970s the emblem was well known in many countries around the globe. It has been one of the most successful images that has emerged from the widespread concerns about the environment in response to nuclear accidents, acid rain, and more recently, global warming.
Self-adhesive stickers bearing the symbol have also been popular. Stickers are cheaper to manufacture than badges, and now rival the badge as the most cost-effective way of publicizing a political message.
F.R. Setchfield, The official badge collectors (Harlow, Longman, 1986)
P. Attwood, Acquisitions of badges (1983-1, British Museum Occasional Paper 76 (, 1990)
M. Schröder, Button (Berlin, Frölich & Kaufman, 1982)