United Kingdom - Culture - Symbols

Symbols

Main article: Symbols of the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

The flag of the United Kingdom is the Union Flag (also referred to as the Union Jack). It was first created in 1606 by the superimposition of the Flag of England on the Flag of Scotland and updated in 1801 with the addition of Saint Patrick's Flag. Wales is not represented in the Union Flag as Wales had been conquered and annexed to England prior to the formation of the United Kingdom; the possibility of redesigning the Union Flag to include representation of Wales has not been completely ruled out. The national anthem of the United Kingdom is "God Save the King", with "King" replaced with "Queen" in the lyrics whenever the monarch is a woman.

Britannia is a national personification of the United Kingdom, originating from Roman Britain. Britannia is symbolised as a young woman with brown or golden hair wearing a Corinthian helmet and white robes. She holds Poseidon's three-pronged trident and a shield, bearing the Union Flag. Sometimes she is depicted as riding on the back of a lion. At and since the height of the British Empire, Britannia has often been associated with maritime dominance, as in the patriotic song "Rule, Britannia!". Up until 2008, the lion symbol is depicted behind Britannia on the British fifty pence coin and on the back of the British ten pence coin. It is also used as a symbol on the non-ceremonial flag of the British Army. The bulldog is sometimes used as a symbol of the United Kingdom and has been associated with Winston Churchill's defiance of Nazi Germany.

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Famous quotes containing the word symbols:

    Luckless is the country in which the symbols of procreation are the objects of shame, while the agents of destruction are honored! And yet you call that member your pudendum, or shameful part, as if there were anything more glorious than creating life, or anything more atrocious than taking it away.
    Savinien Cyrano De Bergerac (1619–1655)

    If the Americans, in addition to the eagle and the Stars and Stripes and the more unofficial symbols of bison, moose and Indian, should ever need another emblem, one which is friendly and pleasant, then I think they should choose the grapefruit. Or rather the half grapefruit, for this fruit only comes in halves, I believe. Practically speaking, it is always yellow, always just as fresh and well served. And it always comes at the same, still hopeful hour of the morning.
    Johan Huizinga (1872–1945)

    As usual I finish the day before the sea, sumptuous this evening beneath the moon, which writes Arab symbols with phosphorescent streaks on the slow swells. There is no end to the sky and the waters. How well they accompany sadness!
    Albert Camus (1913–1960)