Not just reserved for hippies and Japanese school girls, the peace sign seems to be a universal greeting of goodwill.
Although the two raised fingers in a clenched fist has been a long time insult in the UK and signified “Victory” for Winston Churchill as he popularized the gesture in World War 2, the “peace sign” is most commonly associated as a salutation and powerful positive gesture.
To me the idea of Victory and Peace are synonymous. Peace is Victory, and vice versa. So the powerful meme of V for Victory over our adversaries is transmuted to Victory over conflict altogether.
The peace sign then becomes an unconscious symbol for one of mans longest and deepest yearnings.