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This is a particular type of Anthropomorphic Personification that depicts a country (or some other sociopolitical or geographical unit) as one person, using that person's actions and foibles to make a comment on the country's politics and history. Sometimes this "person" is an animal or landmark (like the Statue of Liberty). This technique has been used in newspaper political cartoons for hundreds of years, and nowadays can be found in webcomics as well. As such, it may be considered a genre of comic, though it's been known to appear in other media (such as the anime of Axis Powers Hetalia) once in a blue moon.

Classic Characters of this Type

  • Britannia - Britain
  • John Bull - Britain (or occasionally England, with his sister Lil representing Scotland and his brother or cousin Jonathan representing the USA)
  • Johnny Canuck - Canada
  • Rodina or Rodina Mat' or Mother Russia - Russia
  • Uncle Sam - USA (representing the American government)
  • [[
  • Marianne - France (Which eventually replaced the Gallic rooster as the symbolic embodiment of the country)
  • Michel - Germany (see German Peculiarities)
  • Germania - Germany (counterpart to Britannia, not normally seen nowadays)
  • Bharat Mata ("Mother India") - India (this one's politicized even within India, so handle with care)
  • Helvetia - Switzerland
  • Hunnia - Hungary
  • Cossack Marnay - Ukraine

Works That Use This Trope:


  • Punch`s political cartoons helped popularise some of the classic personifications.
  • Private Eye sometimes uses them.

Web Comics

Web Original

Sketch Comedy

  • Not quite nations, but in the Australian sketch comedy show News Free Zone, the "88 Australia Street" segment was about a share house occupied by anthropomorphic embodiments of the Australian states.


  • This art book (Link is NSFW due to advertisements and thumbnails in the sidebar) depicts 74 countries as teenage girls, including North Korea.
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