Rule Britannia! – British Patriotic Song
Britannia was the original name given by the Romans to the province that comprised what is now England and Wales (neighboring Ireland was known as Hibernia, Scotland was Caledonia, Germany was Germania, Brittany was Armorica and France was just plain Gaul). After the Romans left, the name gradually fell into disuse, but later, in the days of the Empire, it came to represent the spirit of Britain, herself.
Since 1672, Britannia has been anthropomorphised into a woman wearing a helmet, and carrying a shield and trident. It is a symbol that blends the concepts of empire, militarism and economics.
The poem “Rule Britannia” by James Thomson (1700-48) was put to music by Thomas Augustine Arne (around 1740) and is sung as an unofficial national anthem.