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Truth behind the ‘Peace for France’ image

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor

Designed by French artist Jean Jillien, who was on vacation at the time of the attacks, this peace sign depicting the Eiffel Tower has become a symbol for the “Peace for France” movement that has swept over social media in the wake of the tragedy in Paris.

“I express myself visually, so my first reaction was to draw a symbol of peace for Paris…from there it seems to have gotten a bit out of my hands,” stated Jillien in an interview with Time.

Despite the image’s success (over 129,000 likes on Instagram and over 48,000 retweets from Jillien’s account alone), Jillien claims it is difficult to find joy in the response due to the horror of the events that inspired the piece, but he also says that “…there’s something positive that people are coming together in a sense of unity and peace.”

The simplicity of the image alone lends itself to being a subtle rallying cry for people all over the world, and many have adopted the image to express their support for the French people.

Many countries have come to France’s aid in their time of need, and French president Francois Hollande himself has claimed that the responsible parties will not go unpunished.

This seems of little comfort to Jillien though, who has chosen to take up residence in an undisclosed location to order to avoid terrorist backlash. This does not change the fact that the overwhelming response to Jillien’s image has generated a lot of monetary support, inspiring donations for the victims of the events that killed over 150, numbers unheard of in France since World War II according to CNN.