However, it was common practice in warfare of that period to summarily execute common soldiers, since they held no ransom value.Alternatively, there is evidence against this interpretation as the chronicler Jean de Wavrin, contemporary of the battle of Agincourt, reports that the captured archers would have three fingers cut, and not two.
Protesters against the Vietnam War (and subsequent anti-war protests) and counterculture activists adopted the gesture as a sign of peace.
Because the hippies of the day often flashed this sign (palm out) while saying "Peace", it became popularly known (through association) as the peace sign..
Between 19 a group of anthropologists including Desmond Morris studied the history and spread of European gestures and found the rude version of the V-sign to be basically unknown outside the British Isles.
In his Gestures: Their Origins and Distribution, published in 1979, Morris discussed various possible origins of this sign but came to no definite conclusion: because of the strong taboo associated with the gesture (its public use has often been heavily penalised).
In Japan, it is generally believed to have been influenced by Beheiren's anti-Vietnam War activists in the late 1960s and Konica's advertisement in 1971.
A more colorful account of this practice claims it was influenced by the American figure skater Janet Lynn during the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Hokkaidō.
As an example of the V sign (palm inward) as an insult, on November 1, 1990, The Sun, a British tabloid, ran an article on its front page with the headline "Up Yours, Delors" next to a large hand making a V sign protruding from a Union Jack cuff.
The Sun urged its readers to stick two fingers up at then President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors, who had advocated an EU central government.
He maintained that he passed this to friends at the BBC, and to the British Naval Intelligence Division through his connections in MI5, eventually gaining the approval of Winston Churchill. President Richard Nixon used the gesture to signal victory in the Vietnam War, an act which became one of his best-known trademarks.