Where does come from?
The victory hand, or V sign, has its origins in the WWII resistance to the Nazis. The Belgian BBC broadcaster Victor de Laveleye suggested in January 1941 that the victory sign—made with index and middle finger spread and facing out, the remaining fingers held down with the thumb—become a symbol of unity and victory for the Allied forces, as the word for victory in French (victoire) and for freedom in Dutch (vrijheid) both started with letter V.
The symbol took off, first in Belgium, the Netherlands, and England, and later throughout occupied Europe. Later, it came to be a general symbol for peace when it was adopted by Vietnam War protesters in the 1970s and has since become commonly called the peace sign gesture and recognized around the world.
The victory hand emoji is a digital representation of the victory hand. In 1993, the victory hand was added to Unicode 1.1, making it an old-school icon. In 2015, it was added to Unicode’s Emoji 1.0 set. The victory hand comes in a default yellow but skin-tone modifiers allow users to change its color.
Who uses ?
The victory hand emoji is most often used to represent “peace” and all the sentiments of unity, harmony, and collective humanity that come with it.
— Joan Wilder (@WilderJoan003) August 24, 2018
As peace and peace out are slang ways to say “goodbye,” the victory hand emoji is ready to bid various farewells and make sundry sign-offs.
You can kiss that ball (and deficit) goodbye! ✌️ pic.twitter.com/x6ljJQpGek
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) August 23, 2018
My gaming/podcast/twitter friends are among the greatest I’ve had in my life. Thank you guys for being Mega Awesome ✌️
— Adam Leonhardt (@theartofadaml) August 27, 2018
Peace creates those good vibes, so the victory hand emoji can convey happiness or joy more generally.
— Cassie Rose (@GBarbie_RockFAM) August 27, 2018
For a number of cultures, including the British, turning around a victory hand gesture makes an obscene gesture akin to the middle finger, saying “Up yours!” or “Fuck you!” Many Britons and others use the victory hand emoji for their sweary needs.
Well my car got totaled today so that’s fuckin great. Fuck the girl that cut me off and destroyed my car ✌️
— J2️⃣5️⃣ (@CallMeKing25) August 25, 2018
The victory hand emoji also has its naughtier side. Some people use it to represent masturbating a woman (“fingering”). Others may use it to evoke cunnilingus or spread legs, implying “vagina” and “sex” more generally.
How Besigye waves the V sign ojoonee, hmm like he is fingering…
— Le'Omiyo (@0MiY0) August 24, 2018
Happy Valentines Day, Spread the love not your legs! ✌🏻️😂💗
— Thyron Gragas (@iloveThyron) February 14, 2017
When people want to show they are saying something ironically or calling out problematic word choices, they may do air quotes, which involves holding up both hands in victory signs and bending the fingers. The gesture is meant to imitate quotation marks. Wrapping text with two victory hand emoji simulates ✌️ air quotes ✌️ in writing.
— Nick🌙📿 (@nickrivera__) October 5, 2017