Did you know that the "V for Victory" sign first appeared in Belgium?


The "V for Victory" sign is often associated with the former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. However, this symbol actually first appeared in Belgium, due to the tennis star Victor de Laveleye who also served as Belgian Justice Minister.

In 1940, Victor de Laveleye was appointed as the official presenter of Radio Belgium in London. Through his broadcasts, he became a symbol of the free Belgians. One year later, he asked all Belgians to adopt the letter V as a rallying sign, "because V is the first letter of Victoire (victory) in French and Vrijheid (freedom) in Flemish, like the Walloons and the Flemish who today walk hand in hand, two things that are consequences of each other, Victory will give you Freedom...".

Thanks to him, the sign was widely used in January 1941. Inhabitants of Belgium, the Netherlands and Northern France drew it on buildings in defiance of the Nazis.

The British war-time leader, Winston Churchill then noticed the symbol's success and decided to use it during a televised speech. He continued to use it throughout the war.