Nowadays, when you see someone raises and parts the index and middle finger, while the other fingers are clenched, we called it the “V-sign”, and generally, people think it as a sign of peace. That idea about peace was posted during “Make love, not war” in order to against Vietnam War and considered as the counterculture of the 1960s, also called the peace movement.
However, the V-sign was represented Victory before that and became well-known after Churchill used it in his speech, also other allied leaders used the sign as well against Germany, so the V-sign was the sign that represented the victory for WWII. Furthermore, the V-sign has a long history representing the victory since Hundred Years’ War, this origin legend dictates that the English and Welsh archers who were captured by the French had their index and middle fingers cut off so that they could no longer operate their longbows, and that the V Sign was used by uncaptured and victorious archers in a display of defiance against the enemy. But that origin hasn’t got proved yet.
Over your thinking, V-sign has been considered as an offensive gesture, a way that you show you’re disrespectful for someone else, the insulting version of the gesture is often compared to the offensive gesture known as “the finger”. The “two-fingered salute”, is commonly performed by flicking the V upwards from wrist or elbow. The V sign, when the palm is facing toward the person giving the sign, has long been an insulting gesture in England, and later in the rest of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, India, Pakistan and New Zealand. It is frequently used to signify defiance (especially to authority), contempt, or derision.
The fun thing is: in Asia, people use V-sign when they are taking pictures. It is used in both casual and formal settings instead of insulting.
“Two fingers up to English history….” The BS Historian, 12 Dec. 2009,
bshistorian.wordpress.com/2007/07/02/two-fingers-up-to-english-history/. Accessed 3 Oct. 2017.