Peace out

The symbol of two raised fingers, the index and middle, have meant a number of things over the years. First, it represents the number 2. In American Sign Language it stands for that number as well as the letter “V.” It’s also known a sign for “victory” used most notably by Winston Churchill in the ‘30s and ‘40s and Richard Nixon in the 1960s. Also in the ‘60’s it became a symbol of peace for the counter culture. Today it’s often used as a greeting or sign-off in the hip-hop culture (“peace out, yo”).

Recently I was stopped at a traffic light on Union Road at Kelley Drive in Manteca. I glanced over to my left and saw the walk/don’t walk sign with the stylized silhouette of a walking man illuminated in white. When my light turned green the sign at the corner should have turned to the familiar red open palm telling the pedestrians to halt. But this sign looked a bit different. A number of the LED bulbs had burned out and it appeared that it was flashing a peace sign (or victory if you choose).

There are a number of hand gestures that aren’t as friendly as the two-fingered peace sign. Let’s hope that the sign at Union and Kelley doesn’t lose any more lights.

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