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The article attracted a number of complaints about its alleged racism, but the now defunct Press Council rejected the complaints after the editor of The Sun stated that the paper reserved the right to use vulgar abuse in the interests of Britain.On April 3, 2009, Scottish football players Barry Ferguson and Allan Mc Gregor were permanently banned from the Scottish national squad for showing the V sign while sitting on the bench during the game against Iceland.The first unambiguous evidence of the use of the insulting V sign in the United Kingdom dates to 1901, when a worker outside Parkgate ironworks in Rotherham used the gesture (captured on the film) to indicate that he did not like being filmed.

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The gesture was also flashed by Spike (played by James Marsters) in "Hush", a Season 4 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The scene was also featured in the series' opening credits for all of Season 5.

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.

When displayed with the palm inward towards the signer, it has long been an offensive gesture in some Commonwealth nations.

In the 1940s, during the Second World War, a campaign by the Western Allies to use the sign with the back of the hand towards the signer ( in Unicode) as a "V for Victory" sign proved quite effective.

( The Germans could not remove all the signs, so adopted the V Sign as a German symbol, sometimes adding laurel leaves under it, painting their own V's on walls, vehicles and adding a massive V on the Eiffel Tower.

In 1942, Aleister Crowley, a British occultist, claimed to have invented the usage of a V-sign in February 1941 as a magical foil to the Nazis' use of the Swastika.

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.

Crowley noted that his 1913 publication Magick featured a V-sign and a swastika on the same plate. He also used it on his departure from public office following his resignation in 1974.

As the name reflects, this dates to the Vietnam War era and anti-war activists, though the precise origin is disputed.

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