This salute dates back to the English Longbowman who fought the French during the Hundred Years War (1337 – 1453). The French hated the English archers who used the Longbow with such devastating effect. Any English archers who were caught by the French had their Index and middle fingers chopped off from their right hand- a terrible penalty for an archer. This led to the practice of the English archers, especially in siege situations, taunting their French enemy with their continued presence by raising their two fingers in the ‘Two-Fingered Salute’ meaning “You haven’t cut off my fingers !”
According to a popular legend the two-fingers salute and/or V sign derives from the gestures of longbowmen fighting in the English army at the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War. The story claims that the French claimed that they would cut off the arrow-shooting fingers of all the English longbowmen after they had won the battle at Agincourt. But the English came out victorious and showed off their two fingers, still intact. Historian Juliet Barker quotes Jean Le Fevre (who fought on the English side at Agincourt) as saying that Henry V included a reference to the French cutting off longbowmen's fingers in his pre-battle speech. If this is correct it confirms that the story was around at the time of Agincourt, although it doesn't necessarily mean that the French practised it, just that Henry found it useful for propaganda, and it does not show that the 'two-fingers salute' is derived from the hypothetical behaviour of English archers at that battle. Indeed, there is no record of this explanation for the V sign before the 1970s, and it seems to be a popular myth.
but i was given this as a birthday prezzie,100 Classic Book Collection
and whilst reading Ivanhoe Sir Walter Scott wrote 1820 page 433
i will mar his archery, the curse of a coward on my head if i strike not off the forefinger of his right hand ! he shall draw bowstring no more.
|the Two finger salute !||481||michael seabrook||17-May-10 21:47|
|Re: the Two finger salute !||63||Jal Phoenix||17-May-10 23:52|
|Re: the Two finger salute !||66||michael seabrook||18-May-10 07:30|