The mode line shows
<V> and I would like it to show
I'm new to Emacs so my Elisp skills are non-existent.
You can modify how the mode-line shows the evil state by setting the corresponding tag variable. You'll need these lines somewhere in your emacs init file.
(setq evil-normal-state-tag "NORMAL") (setq evil-insert-state-tag "INSERT") (setq evil-visual-state-tag "VISUAL")