Winston Churchill 1941;Wikimedia Commons

Following a BBC broadcast in January 1941 that suggested the use of a V for victoire (French: “victory”) and vrijheid (Dutch: “freedom”) sign during German occupation, Vs appeared on walls throughout Belgium, the Netherlands, and northern France.

Throughout the war in the subsequent “V for Victory” campaign, the three dot and a dash Morse code signal for V (•••-) , whose rhythm corresponded to the opening bars of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, was used by the BBC as its call-sign in broadcasts to occupied Europe.