What’s all the fuss about the “V sign?

What’s in a hand gesture! Well, I had no idea the “V sign” was a tad bit controversial. As an artist I fell in love with the graphic symbol and the idea of it conveying the idea of peace.  But really the gesture can go from symbol to insulting with just a turn of your hand! Of course, it means peace both ways here in America, but in so many other country’s this is not the case! When I first went to research this I had no idea what a big deal it was. I most certainly didn’t guess it could potentially be so extreme! 

I had no idea as a “peace hand signal/sign lover” and “wanna be hippie” that making the “V sign” with your hand meant so many different things.  I just thought it meant “PEACE”.  Well it turns out that this hand gesture called the “V sign” is a gesture made while the index an middle fingers are raised and parted, and the other fingers are clenched or folded down, has variety of meanings.

Now, here’s where it gets more interesting, it has also been used by people of the United Kingdom as an offensive gesture, although, to indicate this, you must display your “V Sign with the palm inward.  If you backhand the peace sign in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, or the United Kingdom you would be flipping them, what’s equivalent to... the bird.  Oops ----  not so peace-like.

It has been used to represent the letter "V" as in "victory," especially by Allied troops during World War II.  Many people simply use it to signal the number 2.  Ok now let’s time travel to the 60s, and we now have the "V sign" being adopted by the counterculture movement, where it became the symbol of PEACE, palm outward of course. 

So, for those of you that like the gesture and that it means “PEACE” you may want to think about making sure you rock it the right way.

The poster and illustrations I had so much fun creating are here in the gallery below, you can find them in my shop as well.  I just loved the 60’s feel and giving each hand a fun surface pattern to dress them up a bit. 

framed for my studio wall