As the story goes, hundreds of years ago when the English and the French were doing battle, the unfortunate English longbowman who fell into the hands of the French often had the two fingers of his “string pulling” hand lopped off. Should he escape, this would prevent him from plyin his trade as effectively. The English longbowmen would taunt the French by raising the two fingers across the lines to show they still had them. Through the years this gesture has remained a very English expression. In the last scene of Le Mans shown above, Steve McQueen, as Michael Delaney, salutes Ferrari driver Erich Stahler, played by Siegfried Rauch.
Photo by Nigel Snowdon