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V for Victory: Celebrating World War II’s Greatest Symbolic Gesture …

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V for Victory: Celebrating a Gesture of Solidarity and Defiance

Ben Cosgrove

Jul 04, 2014

Today, the hand gesture above—index and middle finger extended, palm outward—is as innocuous and ubiquitous a token of greeting or farewell as one is likely to see, anywhere. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find a group portrait of youngsters, grown-ups, teens—in any culture—where at least one person in the photo is not flashing what most of us know as a “peace sign.”

The redoubtable fellow above, however, is hardly a hippie, and in his hands the symbol is far more freighted than a laid-back, “Peace, man.”

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