Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rule Brittania?

It's widely reported that the Prime Minister personally decided on removing the image of 'Britannia' from our coins, which will be replaced by a new more "Euro" friendly coins soon.

Ever since she appeared on a farthing in the reign of Charles II more than 300 years ago, the image of Britannia sitting on her rock wearing her Greek helmet and flowing classical robes, holding her trident with a lion at her feet has made a continuous appearance on British coins but she's now surplus to government requirements and may have to emigrate in order to find a home elsewhere.

Do you think it's right to tinker with this part of our history or is any idea of 'Britannia' entirely irrelevant in the 21st century world of a devolved United Kingdom?

10 comments:

Matt B said...

I was reading about this topic at the weekend. It seems Britannia was a "god" (ess) invented by the Romans and attributed to this collection of islands. The name stuck and gives us the name we have today.

Being EU friendly just creaks of removing the objection to moving to the "less interesting looking" and culturally bland Euro. You'd be a fool to think of it as otherwise.

James Maskell said...

Theres no way we would go to the Euro. That in itself as Labour have recently said, would require a referendum, and given Brown's own euroscepticism on the issue, its a non-starter. Theres no chance at all of a yes vote on a referendum on the Euro.

As for the 50p design, the Brittania design isnt the only one around. There are plenty of 50ps around without Brittania on there, say the new design on the Scouts. Its just a 50p piece. Its still sterling and it still has the Queens head on it...whats the problem?

Anonymous said...

James. A referendum like the one that Brown promised for the EU constitution? I wouldn't trust these slippery beggars to honour any promise. However I think if things carry on as they are with the weak dollar and strong euro you will see the cracks start to appear. The euro is a bogus currency with nothing to back it up and it won't last the distance.

Tony Beachcomber said...

The problem with the Brittania on a cupro nickel coin is that the metal is so hard to achieve a good striking. Modern coinage as from the 1816 coinage reform has seen the brittania struck on copper coinage and the 4 pence groat. Each striking achieving a medal like strike. From 1860 brittania appeared on bronze coinage with a excellent striking. 1969 saw brittania on cupro nickel for the first time on the fifty pence. The striking was okay but there is no datail and it looks awful after a few years circulation. The design is not dead and buried as it can be used on something else, like on the 2 pound britainnia silver bullion coin with a .985 fineness, which is produce each year by the royal mint since the magical year of 1997. Idealy, St George and the Dragon for gold and Brittania for silver bullion coins.
Personaly, I think the fifty Pence should go back to heraldry with is the true tradition of british circulating coinage. Obviously keep the 5million or so commeratives produced each year. But nothing can beat heraldry on a coin for national identity.

Anonymous said...

bring back the old 5p.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

James, I still think it's disgrace.

A typical NuLabour, pro-federalist control-freak measure.

Anonymous said...

Brittania is a racist thing and needs to be removed.


Moham Inhen

Anonymous said...

How is a symbol that is related to these Islands, racist? What utter nonsense! No, this removal is just another modern silly idea thought up by our political rulers who clearly have nothing better to do.

Tony Beachcomber said...

It is only a coin, perhaps we should all wait until the new design is unveiled.

Anonymous said...

How can you say a coin is racist, if that were the case, dont accept them and give them to charity. You can't accept with one hand and condem with the other.