We have chosen V for Victory as the name for our new World War II aviation range which includes genuine parts from Spitfire and Hurricane engines. Here’s a first look at our beautiful enamelled badge which will be used across the range.
To us, the words V for Victory epitomise the sheer power of public spirit during World War II. Mention it to most people and they will wrongly give full credit to Winston Churchill due to his famous hand gesture but the origins actually lie a little further back…
In January 1941, the former Belgium Minister of Justice Victor de Laveleye suggested Belgians used the ‘V for Victoire’ symbol. Before long V’s were being chalked upon every available surface – a symbol which showed that citizens were waiting for signs of weakness from the occupiers. This soon spread to the Netherlands and France.
Following this trend, the BBC decided to launch its own V for Victory propaganda campaign. They translated the V into Morse code to give an audible signal of three dots and a dash. As luck would have it, this replicated the powerful opening bar of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. This was played as a call sign at all foreign language programmes transmitted by BBC radio to occupied Europe…and became a source of great irritation to the opposition!
By July 1941, Winston Churchill started using the V as a defiant hand gesture – fingers facing forward in what became an iconic image.
It’s amazing to learn the psychological effect which V for Victory had on both sides during the war. It was, in many ways, a clever mind game Such a simple idea and one which caught the public’s imagination. No big ad campaign, no PR and of course, there was no social media back then – this was just spread by word of mouth and newspaper.