Britannia arm-in-arm with Uncle Sam symbolizes the British-American alliance in World War I. The two animals, the Bald eagle and the Barbary lion, are also national personifications of the two countries.
The Liberty of Oudiné in memory of the Argentine centenary of the May Revolution (1810-1910).

A national personification is an anthropomorphic personification of a state or the people(s) it inhabits. It may appear in political cartoons and propaganda.

Some personifications in the Western world often took the Latin name of the ancient Roman province. Examples of this type include Britannia, Germania, Hibernia, Hispania, Helvetia and Polonia.

Examples of personifications of the Goddess of Liberty include Marianne, the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World), and many examples of United States coinage. Another ancient model was Roma, a female deity who personified the city of Rome and his dominion over the territories of the Roman Empire.[1]

Examples of representations of the everyman or citizenry in addition to the nation itself are Deutscher Michel, John Bull and Uncle Sam.[2]


Personifications by country or territory

Location Image Personification Animal used for the same purpose
 Albania Mother Albania Double-headed eagle
Americas Personification of the Americas American alligator
 Argentina Allegory of the Republic, Gaucho
 Armenia Mother Armenia
 Australia Little Boy from Manly Boxing kangaroo
 Austria Austria Double-headed eagle
 Bangladesh Bangamata[3] Bengal tiger[4]
 Belgium La Belgique, Manneken Pis[5][6] Brabantic Lion, Leo Belgicus
 Bhutan Thunder Dragon
 Brazil Efígie da República
 Bulgaria Mother Bulgaria Double-headed eagle
 Cambodia Preah Thong and Neang Neak
 Canada Mountie,[7] Johnny Canuck,[8] Canada Bereft (Vimy Memorial).

Canada was often personified as a young woman in 19th and early 20th century editorial cartoons, called simply "Canada", "Miss Canada", or sometimes "Mother Canada".[9]

Canadian beaver
 Chile Huaso, Roto, Señora Juanita, Angel of Liberty[10] Condorito
 China and  Taiwan Chinese dragon
 Colombia Juan Valdez
 Croatia Mother Croatia
 Cuba La República
 Czechia Čechie, Czech Vašek, Honza, Svejk. Czech lion
 Denmark Holger Danske, Mother Denmark
 Dominican Republic Conchoprimo
 Egypt Mother of the World Sphinx
 El Salvador Salvador del Mundo
 Europe Europa or Europa regina
 Finland Finnish Maiden Finnish lion
 France Marianne Gallic rooster
 Georgia Mother of a Georgian
 Germany Germania, Deutscher Michel Reichsadler, Bundesadler, Berliner Bär (Berlin), Bavarian Lion (Bavaria), Marcher Eagle (Brandenburg), Prussian Eagle (Prussia)
 Greece Hellas
 Haiti Ezili Dantor, Katrin
 Hungary The Lady of Hungaria Turul
 Iceland The Lady of the Mountains
 India Bharat Mata Bengal tiger, Asiatic lion, Indian Elephant, Indian peafowl
 Indonesia Ibu Pertiwi Garuda Pancasila
 Iran,  Afghanistan and  Tajikistan Rostam[11][12][13] Lion and sun
 Ireland Ériu, Banba, Fódla, Kathleen Ni Houlihan, Hibernia, The Old Woman of Beare[14]
 Israel Srulik
 Italy Italia turrita, Roma (Roman Empire) Italian wolf,[15][16]
Lion of Saint Mark (Venice)[17]
 Japan Green Pheasant, Koi
 Kazakhstan Altin Adam
Korea ( North Korea and  South Korea - despite mutual enmity, both states lay claim to the same historical heritage) Korean Tiger, Chollima
 Kyrgyzstan Manas
 Latvia Milda
 Lebanon Abu Abed
 Lithuania Lietuva
Benelux Low Lands or Benelux (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg) Leo Belgicus
 Malaysia Hang Tuah[18][19] Malayan tiger[20]
 Malta Melita
 Mexico Mexican Motherland, La China Poblana Golden eagle
 Mongolia Genghis Khan
 Montenegro Fairy of Lovćen, Mother Montenegro
 Morocco Barbary Lion
 Netherlands Dutch Maiden Dutch Republic Lion, Leo Hollandicus, Leo Belgicus
   Nepal Gurkha, Sherpa Yeti[21]
 New Zealand Zealandia,[22] Kiwi
 Nicaragua El Güegüense Motmot
 North Macedonia Mother Macedonia[24][25] Lioness
 Norway Mother Norway, Ola & Kari Nordmann, Nór
Palestine Handala
 Peru Peruvian Motherland Vicuña
La Madre Filipinas, Juan dela Cruz Philippine Carabao
 Poland Polonia White eagle
 Portugal Zé Povinho, Efígie da República, Guardian Angel of Portugal Rooster of Barcelos
 Romania România Lynx
 Russia Mother Russia, General Winter Russian bear
 San Marino Liberty, Saint Marinus
 Serbia Mother Serbia Serbian eagle
 Singapore Merlion
 Slovakia Jánošík
 Slovenia Kralj Matjaž
 South Africa The Lady of Good Hope Springbok
 Spain Hispania Hispanic Lion
 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Matha (Mother Sri Lanka)
 Suriname Mama Sranan (Mother Suriname), a 1965 sculpture by Jozeph Klas in the center of Paramaribo, of a mother figure holding five children representing Suriname's ethnic groups in her arms.[26]
 Sweden Mother Svea (Moder Svea)
  Switzerland Helvetia Cow[27]
 Thailand Siam Devadhiraj White elephant
 Ukraine Cossack Mamay Ruthenian Lion
 United Kingdom Britannia, John Bull Bulldog
 United States Columbia, Lady Liberty, Lady Justice Bald Eagle, American Buffalo, Timber rattlesnake (American Revolution, obsolete)
 Uruguay Efigie de la República
 Venezuela Juan Bimba (obsolete)
 Vietnam Lạc Long Quân and Âu Cơ Vietnamese Dragon, Lạc Bird

See also


  1. ^ "Il Tempio di Venere e Roma" (in Italian). Retrieved 12 September 2023.
  2. ^ Eric Hobsbawm, "Mass-Producing Traditions: Europe, 1870-1914," in Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, eds., The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge, 1983), 263-307.
  3. ^ Ahmed, Salahuddin (2004). Bangladesh: Past and Present. APH Publishing. p. 310. ISBN 8176484695. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  4. ^ "NATIONAL SYMBOLS". Bangladesh Tourism Board. Bangladesh: Ministry of Civil Aviation & Tourism. Archived from the original on 2016-12-28. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  5. ^ Couvreur, Manuel; Deknop, Anne; Symons, Thérèse (2005). Manneken-Pis : Dans tous ses états. Historia Bruxellae (in French). Vol. 9. Brussels: Musées de la Ville de Bruxelles. ISBN 978-2-930423-01-2.
  6. ^ Emerson, Catherine (2015). Regarding Manneken Pis: Culture, Celebration and Conflict in Brussels. Leeds: Taylor & Francis Ltd. ISBN 978-1-909662-30-8.
  7. ^ McGill, Robert (2017). War Is Here: The Vietnam War and Canadian Literature. McGill-Queen's Press. p. 37. ISBN 9780773551589. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  8. ^ Barber, Katherine (2007). Only in Canada You Say: A Treasury of Canadian Language. Oxford University Press Canada. p. 70. ISBN 9780195427073.
  9. ^ "Library and Archives Canada". Library and Archives Canada.
  10. ^ "CHILE: 50 AÑOS DEL GOLPE. EL ÁNGEL DE LA LIBERTAD". Rascacielos. September 2023. Retrieved 15 June 2024.
  11. ^ Hassanabadi, Mahmoud. "Rostam: A Complex Puzzle: A New Approach to the Identification of the Character of Rostam in the Iranian National Epos Shāhnāme".
  12. ^ Dallmayr, Fred (25 August 1999). Border Crossings: Toward a Comparative Political Theory. Lexington Books. ISBN 9780739152546.
  13. ^ Heck, Isabel. "Le mythe de Siyâvosh: rapports entre l'épopée nationale de ferdowsi et des récits populaires en Iran (The myth of Siyâvosh: relationships between the national epic of Ferdowsi and popular stories in Iran)" (PDF) (in French). Retrieved 2024-02-08.
  14. ^ O'Rourke Murphy, M. & MacKillop, J. (2006). An Irish Literature Reader: Poetry, Prose, Drama.
  15. ^ Minahan, James B. (2009). The Complete Guide to National Symbols and Emblems. ABC-CLIO. p. 436. ISBN 9780313344978.
  16. ^ Blashfield, Jean F. (2009). Italy. Scholastic. p. 33. ISBN 9780531120996.
  17. ^ ""Saint Mark", Franciscan Media". Archived from the original on 8 October 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  18. ^ Liok Ee Tan (1988). The Rhetoric of Bangsa and Minzu. Monash Asia Institute. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-86746-909-7.
  19. ^ Melanie Chew (1999). The Presidential Notes: A biography of President Yusof bin Ishak. Singapore: SNP Publications. p. 78. ISBN 978-981-4032-48-3.
  20. ^ Minahan, James B. (2009). The Complete Guide to National Symbols and Emblems. Greenwood. p. 101. ISBN 978-0313344961.
  21. ^ Subba, Sanghamitra (29 January 2020). "Love it or hate it, it's abominable".
  22. ^ Phillips, Jock. "South African War memorial, Waimate".
  23. ^ Dingwall, R. "Southern Man (Dunedin Airport)", Otago Sculpture Trust, 19 November 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  24. ^ A Manifesto from the Provisional Government of Macedonia, 1881, Our mother Macedonia became now as a widow, lonely and deserted by her sons. She does not fly the banner of the victorious Macedonian army
  25. ^ Bulgarian graphic representation of Bulgaria, East Rumelia and North Macedonia
  26. ^ "Kunstschatten: Mama Sranan - Parbode Magazine". Archived from the original on 2016-04-14. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
  27. ^ Valance, Marc. (Baden, 2013) Die Schweizer Kuh. Kult und Vermarktung eines nationalen Symbols, p. 6 ff.

Further reading