The People Who Created the Peace Sign and Donated It to the Community of Ocean Beach Hope It Stays

by on March 19, 2020 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach

Now that we know the OB hostel will close and probably be sold to another investor, the question of the future of the iconic “OB Peace Sign” that has sat on the roof for years is front and center.

The Peace Sign – created by the OB Peace Rockers – was first installed atop the fabulous rock off Sunset Cliffs known as ‘Bird Shit Rock’, and then after its mysterious disappearance, it wound up being donated to the community of Ocean Beach and the folks at the then-OB International Hostel agreed to place it on their building. When the business was sold to USA Hostels, the new owners agreed to keep it.

And since it was given as a gift to Ocean Beach, the original creators hope it can stay atop the old building despite an ownership change. The managers at USA Hostels don’t know anything about any new owners because the building has not yet been put up for sale, but will be by the end of this week. The process of selling should take at a minimum 90 days. No one, of course, knows at this date, if the new owners – whomever they be – will open another hostel.

Glorious sunset over the Pacific, photo by Jim Grant

Here below is the original message sent to the OB Rag by the OB Peace Rockers back in late 2008 – early 2009:


December 31, 2008

On Memorial Day weekend, 2006, a small group of long-time locals -calling themselves “Peace Rockers” – installed a stunning stained-glass Peace Sign atop the magnificent rock off the shores of Sunset Cliffs.

No political statement was ever intended by the design. Rather, the Peace Rockers hoped the Sign would inspire a continual contemplation on tolerance, on harmony, and on the desire of all people for an end to violence. Regrettably, the sign was removed by persons unknown in the middle of the night in January of 2008, and was never returned.

A second Peace Rocks installation went up in April of 2007 in Santa Cruz, California. Unfortunately, a larger-than-expected late spring swell washed the sign away shortly thereafter.

Peace Rocks April of 2007 in Santa Cruz, California

A third sign was installed in Carmel, California, in July of 2008. That one lasted only a short time, and was removed by local Park Rangers.

Carmel, California, in July of 2008

Encouraged by the generally positive reaction to their installation, but discouraged by the complications of maintaining a “guerilla” art project on public property, the Peace Rockers sought a sanctioned site in their hometown – Ocean Beach – for their fourth installation. They quickly settled on the O.B. International Hostel as the desired location, as its very existence is an embodiment of all of the international goodwill we hope the peace sign projects.

An awesome sight, the brillant peace sign over so many flags of the world.

Working anonymously through a representative on the Ocean Beach Town Council, the Peace Rockers made contact with the manager and the owner of the Hostel, and secured their permission for the present installation. Now, on New Year’s Eve Day, 2008, the Peace Rockers make this sign as a gift to the community.

Testing the lights before installation, OB International Hostel, Ocean Beach, December 2008

Hoping for Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward All, we wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Our website is not current, but anyone may still offer Positive Posts for Peace at

Make sure to take a walk down Newport Avenue between 8 and 9 pm when the
Peace Sign lights up the OB night!


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie March 19, 2020 at 12:03 pm

The Peace Sign belongs to the community of Ocean Beach and hopefully it will stay atop the old building. But if the new owners don’t want it -then they MUST return it to OB, and hopefully the OB Town Council or the OB Mainstreet Assoc. will take it and find it a good home. BTW, IT IS NOT FOR SALE!


Frank Gormlie March 19, 2020 at 12:16 pm

The OB Peace Rockers want to remind us that the sign they donated to the hostel is not the same one (the same colors or the same size) that they installed on Peace Rock. That one was stolen, and no one ever heard any credible information about what happened to it.

Here is what they said in an email to the OB Rag: We love the sign right where it is. Center of the middle block. South side of the street (so good sun behind it). No telephone wires impeding it. And all the better that it is on an international hostel. Whatever. We are confident that it if the new owners don’t want it, it should revert to us, and then we’ll find the next perfect spot for it . . . .


Doug Blackwood March 19, 2020 at 8:33 pm



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