Quite often I’m asked, “Who designed the Oneness Symbol?” and, after telling a brief story of the symbol, people say, “Wow, that’s wonderful! I wish I’d known that before!”
Knowing the answer to that question brings a new, much deeper understanding of the meaning and mission of the Oneness Symbol.
Artist Isaac Soltes was a dreamer. Sure, he was an engineer in his “day job,” but his life’s work was making peace symbol jewelry in his garage. As a Jewish American child born in the early 1920’s, he lived for several years in what was then Palestine among friends of different backgrounds and faiths. Fast forward to May, 1948 when the Jewish People’s Council met and announced the creation of the state of Israel. Suddenly his Palestinian childhood friends were now adversaries and it hurt him deeply.
Fast forward again to Southern California in the early 1970’s when Isaac’s daughter asked him to design a Peace symbol necklace for her. He was inspired to create the Oneness Symbol as a way to communicate that we are all One: we just take different paths to be with our vision of Spirit. He started making and selling Oneness jewelry and spreading his dream of Oneness everywhere he could. Many have told me they saw his advertisement in the Natural History magazine all those years ago.
One more fast forward to 1983 when two ministerial students discovered a mimeograph copy of the symbol thumbtacked to a wall at Unity Village in Missouri. Ministerial students Michael and Faith Moran loved the jewelry and bought several pieces for themselves and friends. Isaac finally called them and said, “Who are you and why are you buying all my jewelry?” A loving friendship was born and grew to the point when, after Isaac’s death in the early ‘90’s, his widow Frieda assigned the copyright to Revs. Michael and Faith and asked them to spread Isaac’s dream to the world.
Michael and Faith started the company called Oneness Symbol Inc. in 2001 to create and sell Oneness Jewelry. I joined the company in 2003 and created the Embroidered Stoles division which has now been spun off into a separate company. We are proud that the Oneness Symbol is now proudly worn by thousands all over the world on embroidered ministerial wear and jewelry.
So, the next time someone asks you about your stole, you can tell “the rest of the story” and you’ll know that the Oneness Symbol has served its true purpose once again – to bring people of different faiths together in friendship and mutual respect.
Owner, Oneness Interfaith Stoles & More
The Oneness Symbol
Taoist Yin Yang
Islam Star & Crescent
Buddhist Triple Treasure
Judaism Star of David
Om of Hinduism