Who was Britannia

Who was Britannia

Who was Britannia?
Britannia is the symbol of Britain bestowed on the nation by the Romans and the physical representation of the nation.
Originally, Great Britain was called ‘Albion’ by the Romans, who invaded Britain in 55BC, but this later became ‘Britannia’. This Latin word referred to England and Wales, but was not used for a long time after the Romans left. The name  was then revived in the age of the Empire.

The Romans created a goddess of Britannia, wearing a Centurion helmet and toga, with her right breast exposed. In the Victorian period, when the British Empire was rapidly expanding, this was altered to include her brandishing a trident and a shield with the British flag on, a perfect patriotic representation of the nation’s militarism.

She was also standing in the water, often with a lion (England’s national animal), representing the nation’s oceanic dominance. The Victorians were also too prudish to leave her breast uncovered, and modestly covered it to protect her dignity!
Britannia has been used to reflect the mood of Britain for over 350 years, with artists and sculptors portraying her as the face of the nation. 

So who is Britannia. She holds her ancient warrior attributes – crested helmet, spear and shield, as a constant, a sign of stability, a long-lasting emblem of a nation.
She is holding her spear (or in this case her L96) with serenity and her shield with strength. Great Britain is illustrated by incorporating Britannia into its silhouette – her flowing robe is in fact the stable, rocky surface of Britain itself. 

We have our own range of Britannia products Tactical Britannia, see the T-Shirt Here. See Mugs Here. See Stickers Here.

The patriotic song ‘Rule, Britannia!, Britannia rule the waves’, is traditionally performed at the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ which takes place each year at the Royal Albert Hall.

Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.
When Britain first, at heaven's command,
Arose from out the azure main,
This was the charter of the land,
And Guardian Angels sang this strain:
The nations not so blest as thee

Must, in their turn, to tyrants fall,
While thou shalt flourish great and free:
The dread and envy of them all.
Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful from each foreign stroke,
As the loud blast that tears the skies
Serves but to root thy native oak.
Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame;
All their attempts to bend thee down
Will but arouse thy generous flame,
But work their woe and thy renown.
To thee belongs the rural reign;
Thy cities shall with commerce shine;
All thine shall be the subject main,
And every shore it circles, thine.
The Muses, still with freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coasts repair.
Blest isle! with matchless beauty crowned,
And manly hearts to guard the fair.
Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

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