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England, Great Britain, the UK, What Does It All Mean!?

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The names currently used are England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, (UK). Confused!?

The United Kingdom (UK) is a union of four constituent countries — England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Great Britain is the name of the largest island in the British Isles consisting of England, Scotland, and Wales.

  • Ireland was partitioned in 1922.
  • Northern Ireland: (NI) is now part of the United Kingdom.
  • The Republic of Island: (Southern Island) is now separated by a land border and an independent, sovereign member of the European Union and known as Ireland.

The Isle of Wight (IOW) is located just off the south coast of England and also part of the UK. The IOW car ferry is the most popular way to travel to the island, and there are three different ports from which to travel.

Brexit: On June 23, 2016, British voters voted to leave the European Union (EU) following a referendum commonly referred to as Brexit.

The Union Jack

  Representing the whole of The United Kingdom.

Representing the whole of The United Kingdom.

The UK: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

The green arrow points to a small island, the "Isle Of White" which is part of the United Kingdom.  Ireland is known as Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The green arrow points to a small island, the "Isle Of White" which is part of the United Kingdom. Ireland is known as Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Flag Of England - St George's Cross


England Information

The Flag Of England is the St George's Cross. The red cross appeared during the Middle Ages and the crusades.

  • England has its own Prime Minister.
  • Language: English.
  • Capital: London City.
  • Patron saint: Saint George.
  • National Anthem: God Save the Queen.
  • The floral emblem: The Rose.
  • Currency: Pound Sterling.
  • St George's day. The Feast of Saint George was a Roman army soldier of Greek origin, celebrated by various Christian Churches and nations. Saint George's day is on April 23.

What England and the English people are well known for? The queen, football, cups of tea. Gin. Fish & Chips. Queuing patiently. A stiff-upper-lip (to hide true feelings when upset or in dire situations) - Talking about the weather and always apologising (sorry!).

Famous people who were born in England. William Shakespeare, John Lennon and Sir Isaac.

Flag of Scotland. Saint Andrew's Cross or the Saltire

Scottish, Saltire

Scottish, Saltire

Scotland Information

The Flag of Scotland is a white saltire, a 'crux decussate X-shaped cross' representing the cross of the Christian martyr Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, on a blue field. Scotland is a country that occupies the northern third of Great Britain.

  • Scotland has its own Prime Minister.
  • Language: Scottish Gaelic.
  • Capital: Edinburgh.
  • Patron saint: St. Andrew.
  • National Anthem: Scotland the Brave.
  • The Emblem of Scotland: the Thistle.
  • Currency: Although Scotland is part of the UK, they have their own Scottish (sterling) banknotes.

Saint Andrews Day. Andrew the Apostle was a Christian patron saint of Scotland, the UK, and other nations. Saint Andrew's day is on November 30.

What Scotland and the Scots people are well known for? A beautiful landscape. Bad weather. The Loch Ness monster. Tough yet friendly people. Kilt wearers - knee-length skirt-like garment and traditional dress of Gaelic men and boys in the Scottish Highlands, playing the bagpipes and eating haggis.

Famous people who were born in Scotland. Alexander Graham Bell, J.K Rowling, and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Video: Scotland - The True Story

The Republic of Ireland (Southern Ireland) and Northern Ireland (NI) Information

The Republic of Ireland (Southern Ireland) and Northern Ireland (NI) are separate countries after Great Britain left the EU (Brexit). Northern Ireland is a constituent country within the United Kingdom, lying in the North East of Ireland, and shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland.

  • NI has its Prime minister in the UK. ROI has their own Prime Minister and parliament in Dublin.
  • Languages: NI has English as their official language, but some Irish and Ulster Scots is spoken. The ROI has Irish as their official language, but English and Irish Gaelic are also spoken.
  • NI Capital: Belfast. ROI Capital: Dublin.
  • Patron saint: Ireland has three official patron saints. Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and Saint Columba, although saint Patrick is the primary patron saint.
  • National Anthems: The UK's 'God Save The queen' is played in NI. ROI has 'Amhrán na bhFiann' (The Soldier's Song).
  • Floral emblem: The shamrock is a three-leaf clover to explain the Holy Trinity, with one leaf representing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  • Currencies: NI uses the pound sterling. ROI as a part of the EU uses the Euro.
  • Saint Patrick's Day is a cultural and religious celebration held in memory of Saint Patrick, a 5th-century Christian missionary and bishop from Ireland. This day is on March 17.

What Ireland and the Irish people are well known for? The four-leaf clover. The home to Guinness, brewed in Dublin, Ireland. The Irish jig (a traditional dance). Labourers/builders. The IRA and the troubles they've had over the years. Their love of traditional country music.

Famous people who were born in Ireland: Oscar Wilde, Pierce Brosnan, and Bram Stoker.

Flag of Wales is The Red Dragon (Welsh: Y Ddraig Goch)


Wales Information

Wales is a country which is part of the United Kingdom, bordering England on its east.

The Welsh flag: The red dragon has been associated with Wales for centuries and was granted official status in 1959. It consists of a red dragon, a passant on a green and white field.

  • The Welsh Prime Minister is England's Prime Minister.
  • Language: Welsh.
  • Capital: Cardiff.
  • Patron saint: Saint David.
  • National Anthem: 'Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau' or 'The Land of my Fathers'.
  • Their floral emblem: The Daffodil.
  • Currency: The Welsh Pound and sterling.
  • Saint David's Day is the feast day of Saint David to celebrate the life of the Welsh bishop and the patron saint of Wales. St. David's day is on March 1.

What Wales and the Welsh people are well known for? The valleys - green-green-grass of home. Friendly and happy people. People who love to sing. Sheep, rugby and their complicated long words like "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch", a 'small' village on the island of Anglesey. Plus, Brecon Beacons is the mountain range in South Wales and one of the best destinations for stargazing in the world.

Famous people who were born in Wales. Shirley Bassey, Katherine Jenkins and Tom Jones.

Video: Wales Facts

The Isle of Wight Flag


The Isle of Wight Information

The Isle Of White (I.O.W) flag shows a diamond shape (the IOW island) over the ocean waves. The (pizza slice missing edge) at the top corner of the diamond represents the River Median, the largest river on the island.

  • The Isle Of White has a Council Leader. (a unitary authority)
  • Language: English.
  • Capital: Newport.
  • Patron saint: Saint David.
  • National Anthem: God Save the Queen.
  • Currency: Pound Sterling.

What the Isle Of White and people are well known for? Stunning views. The filling of glass containers with the sands from 'Alum Bay's multicoloured sand cliffs. Did you know? The I.O.W is so tiny that the longest car journey would take under an hour!

Famous people who were born on the Isle of Wight are Bear Grills, Phill Jupitus, and Jeremy Irons.

There was a time 'not so long ago' when the whole of the United Kingdom could all fit (stand) on the Isle Of White, but the population has since grown and is now not possible unless they were standing on each other's shoulders.

Video: The Isle of Wight

The variations of accents throughout the UK

The variations of the different accents throughout the countries, cities and towns are equivalent to listening to another language because every place in The United Kingdom has different accents, dialects, colloquialisms and slang. (As shown in the video below)

Video: One Woman, 17 British Accents

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More by the author

© 2008 Tony Sky


Tony Sky (author) from London UK on June 27, 2016:


I wish I had the knowledge to understand all the fundamental differences between staying and leaving and I have no idea at all even after hearing every debate and conversation!

All we can do is await until the new decisions and rules start affecting us, but how and when will we know!? I won't.

All I do know is, this nation as a whole has become more divided, weather we voted in or out and I just hope what ever happens, we can move forward and let this Brexit campaign be a part of history, because at this present moment, I feel we are all walking on prehistoric egg shells until somebody cracks the solution to this problem and we can once again, move forward and be confident in the new people who will be voted (or not) to run this great country.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on June 26, 2016:

The 'Remain' campaigners haven't thrown in the towel yet. There's still some notion that the referendum result wasn't binding, and that there's still parliamentary debate due. Various 'components' of the Media took opposing positions, such as The Sun, the Daily Express and Daily Telegraph following the 'Brexit' line. Good old 'Aunty' (BBC) still has hopes the result isn't binding.

For my money (although I live in London and overall the capital voted 'In', including me to fall in line with the rest of my family - I'm a Brexiter at heart) I think the result should indicate the UK's leanings. Whether Ulster, or Northern Ireland, and Scotland actually vote to leave the UK is another matter. It's possible the vote north of the border was 'chivvied' by the SNP, as some Scots extremists tried in the 2014 referendum. The Ulster voters initially opted to stay with the UK as the Six Counties in the 1920s. They might draw back from the brink at the prospect of breaking up the Union. The idea of placing their future in the hands of Dublin might be repugnant to them, considering the plight Dublin found itself in shortly after joining the Euro zone. Likewise the Scots may not want to take the plunge. Both countries have equal say at Westminster, they each have three national banks issuing their own notes which they would lose on joining the Euro zone.

The UK as a whole voted to reject the Euro, and look what's happened in Ireland (although they worked themselves back out of their doldrums by introducing higher taxes and other fiscal measures), Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The ones who pull the strings are the 'Benelux' countries, France and Germany, the original five who form the 'committee'.

We'd be best out of that 'elitism', it's non-democratic.

Tony Sky (author) from London UK on June 24, 2016:

Reference the "Brexit" campaign, Britain has has voted and the decision is for Great Britain to remain in the European Union and what a divided nation we are as 48.1% wanted to remain and 51.9% to leave.

Results by country as follows...

England voters - remain 46% - to leave 53.2%

Scotland voters - remain 62% - to leave 38%

Wales voters - remain 48.3% - to leave 51.7%

Northern Ireland voters - remain 55.7% - to leave 44.3%

Tony Sky (author) from London UK on December 17, 2015:

Thanks Alan for your knowledgeable input... Your last words you wrote... "a lot of British nationals don't either"..I'm afraid .that includes me I guess :/

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on December 16, 2015:

What about the Channel Islands? (They're part of Great Britain, but not the United Kingdom, and what's left of our Norman holdings that King John lost to France). The only part of Britain occupied in WWII, and many still spoke Norman French at the time - look at their names.

Again, the Isle of Man is part of Great Britain but doesn't pay taxes through Westminster (the Channel Islands have the same tax status, much to the annoyance of the EU).

The Isle of Wight is the only offshore part of the United Kingdom and has 'shire' or county status with a royal 'seat' at Osborne (Queen Vic's favourite).

The Irish flag you showed is of the Irish Republic or Eire, not Northern Ireland. There is an Ulster flag on the net.

We're all British, but have our separate identities as well. A lot of outsiders don't understand that part (a lot of British nationals don't either).

Nell Rose from England on May 05, 2015:

lol! love the joke above! One thing I hate is when foreigners say, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Britain! What about English? I am English, not british or anything else, great hub, nell

jardo on April 21, 2013:

one of the most obvious is that Wales and Northern Ireland are NOT countries. Wales is a 'Principality' - that's why there is a Prince of Wales - and Northern Ireland is a 'Province' - although not exactly like Canada was. It must annoy the good folk of Northern Ireland when people say "British" when they actually mean 'United Kingdom' because Northern Ireland is NOT part of Great Britain - or even Britain. Britain is England and Wales which became Great Britain (larger Britain as in Greater London and Greater Glasgow) when Scottish James 6th joined the crowns. I suppose we all live in the British Isles, including Éire and the many smaller islands, but if that makes us British - like Norwegians, Swedes, Fins and Danes are Scandinavian - perhaps that may have stopped all the bloodshed during the 1930s - and even now???

Saor Alba on October 17, 2012:

Isn't it funny that Scots,Irish and Welsh never get confused about this,must be an English Imperialist attitude thing! Mind you,the English are welcome to call themselves Brits if they want,we certainly don't want to! SAOR ALBA,ALBA GU BRATH!

bilboburgler from Europe on January 10, 2012:

Isle of Man

is included in your map but you don't explain its position, any ideas?

Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on April 24, 2011:

I absolutely love your hub. It was so interesting and well written. Happy Easter..

mag76 on April 06, 2011:

I usually have to devote whole lesson to explain it to my students and there are still some who don't get it. They too usually think that Scotland is a part of England. on March 16, 2011:

Alba Gu Brath

Jasmine on February 27, 2010:

The way you presented and organized this hub is perfect! Very interesting - rated up! You just have to do some more research to make sure all you´ve written is true!

E. Barton on February 25, 2010:

Previous poster Paraglider is correct, the official title is "United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern Ireland". That's what is says on the front of my passport and at the very top of it, it says "European Union".

E. Barton on February 25, 2010:

Edinburgh, Cardiff and London are Capital cities. They are not "Capitol" cities. It's not like Capitol Hill in the USA. Also English is the language spoken in Scotland. A very small minority speak Gaelic but these people tend to live in the remote Western islands of Scotland. The general population can only speak English the same as England.

AJdaemon from Great Britain on December 23, 2009:

A bit of information for everyone, the union flag is only the union jack when at sea.

And good hub.

livingsta from United Kingdom on October 07, 2009:

That was a useful piece of information to be shared, because there are lots of people who are totally confused about these facts, including me lol...Thank you for sharing compu-smart

Dottie1 from MA, USA on June 02, 2009:

The difference between the UK, Britain, Great Britain, and England has always been confusing for me and as you know compu-smart, I mixed them up yesterday so came here for my geography lesson. So thanks for this hub with all this great information.

rikbut from UK on April 08, 2009:

The Republic of Ireland's currency is the Euro. And where is the flag of Northern Ireland?

BristolBoy from Bristol on February 21, 2009:

Hey great hub. It was definitely worth you pointing this out and so have added it to the UK based Hubbers page:

The whole page reminds me of a talk I had with an American in the UK who when I was trying to explain that Bristol was in England but near the bridges to Wales said 'But isn't Wales in England as well?'

solacemoon from Illinois on January 18, 2009:

Nice hub very informative.I hope to travel to the UK one day!

Andy Manning from United Kingdom on October 31, 2008:

This is a great hub...You should explain about the words in each anthem as I would be interested in that information as well.

I willhave a look at your other hubs....thumbs up for you on this one!!!

desert blondie from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen on July 26, 2008:

Such good information! And from all the comments too! As someone who's heritage is English and Irish...enjoyed seeing more about how all this works together. Best!

Dave McClure from Worcester, UK on July 24, 2008:

Greetings - That's a pretty good attempt to unconfuse matters! But a couple of points: I'm pretty sure the official title of the union is "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" You're right in saying that Great Britain is the name for the island comprising Scotland, Wales & England. The Irish hate it when people refer to Great Britain as the mainland!

National anthems - officially, God save the Queen might be the national anthem of Wales, but you'll never find a Welshman who agrees with that. Their national anthem is 'Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau' or 'The Land of my Fathers'. Scotland has always been confused over the national anthem issue. 'Scots wha hae' by Burns was the most serious contender, except that not enough people knew it! 'Scotland the Brave' is too trivial and is really a march tune with a bolt-on lyric. The one that's gained widest acceptance is 'Flower of Scotland', by Roy Williamson of the Corries. It has the advantage of being roarable by rugby & football crowds, but the words are banal and the melody too folksy. Bring back Burns, say I...

Steve Andrews from Lisbon, Portugal on July 23, 2008:

Well, in conspiracy theory the belief is that the plan is to do away with Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland eventually so then it would be a United Kingdom whether people wanted it or not. It is already part of the European Union. They are working towards doing away with nations to create the New World Order. They already have the EU in place and the NAU is planned to follow in the near future composed of North America, Mexico and Canada and with the dollars replaced by the amero. Ultimately the elite intend one currency only and that will be electronic and controlled by a one world bank and a microchipped population.

Immigration is being covertly encouraged to help break down the national and cultural divisions.

I have a friend called Lou who used to run Zine Zone underground magazine, and may still do so, and he used to always write the last part of the address as "London, Not Really Great Britain."

Om Paramapoonya on July 22, 2008:

Nice hub :-) One day I will go visit the UK! I recently watched an old film called Trainspotting and found out that I really like the Scottish accent. It's kind of hard to understand but fun to hear.

koncling from Nice Winding Room on July 22, 2008:

well thank's

now i know the different

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on July 22, 2008:

I appreciate the good map and the synopsis of the countries! Very well put together.

marisuewrites from USA on July 22, 2008:

I'm so glad you did this HUB, a great refresher course and we need more of it! It's wonderful to know more about our neighbors! =)

sschilke on July 22, 2008:

compu smart,

All four countries should forget about their national football teams and join forces to make the United Kingdom national football team. They may just have a chance at winning something on the world stage.

Thanks for the informative hub.


VioletSun from Oregon/ Name: Marie on July 22, 2008:

CompuSmart: I was involved with an Irish man for 7 years and didn't know what their  flag represented, but got immersed in the Irish culture. Its beautiful to have the white as peace between the two religions, may it come true one day!

And to cgull8m, re your comment in this hub about shipping to "United Kindgom"... yikes I just shipped a package this morning to a customer in London and wrote UK... Have been doing this with our British customers. Visiting Compusmart's hubs are always enlightening!


William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on July 21, 2008:

Both my grandfathers were Irish, compu-smart, but I can't help because, as an old editor friend of mine used to say, "You're talking to a totally ignorant person." Of course, he meant he just didn't know anything about it. Thanks for the informative hub. I've always been confused by your country -- or is it kingdom, or commonwealth, or Great Britain, or United Kingdom? Loved the joke!

Jimmy the jock from Scotland on July 21, 2008:

Hi Compu-Smart, nice hub, it's good to see someone who realises that Scotland is not a part of England.

here is a little fact that you may not know

Scottish money is not actually legal tender, it is a promisary note to banks to pay the bearer on demand the amount in sterling or English bank notes.

take care and thanks for sharing.....jimmy

cgull8m from North Carolina on July 21, 2008:

I used to ship packages to UK before with "United Kingdom" now the postal service accept only Great Britain. I am still confused LOL, but the article helped. Cheers.

Christopher James Stone from Whitstable, UK on July 21, 2008:

No English flag. Also St.George isn't the patron saint of the United Kingdom, but of England. Personally I never agreed with that anyway. I think if we're going to have a mythological figure as a saint, it might as well be an English one, and I vote for Robin Hood.

MasonsMom from U.S.A. on July 21, 2008:

Thanks for clearing that up!!!!

Priceless Sam on July 21, 2008:

Very informative!! LOL - love the joke. haha

Tony Sky (author) from London UK on July 21, 2008:

A Welshman, Scotsman, Irishman and Englishman walk into a pub! ,,,,The barman says "What's this!? Some kind of Joke!?


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