The Britannia Badge

What do the Norfolk County Regiment and Girlguiding Norfolk have in common?

There is a clue in the title of this article.

In 1922 discussions took place in Norfolk’s guiding circles on a design for a county badge. At this time most counties were having the same discussion and all ideas were to be registered and coordinated by Miss Kay Shuttleworth, the first county commissioner for guiding in Lancashire. She was a notable figure in guiding and a well known name nationally for all things to do with needlework and embroidery. Norfolk submitted the idea of Britannia and this was accepted providing there was no opposition from the Norfolk Regiment who also proudly sported Britannia on their uniform.

Britannia has been around since Roman times. In 1st century BC the term came to mean Great Britain and she first appeared on a farthing coin in 1665 facing to the left and holding a spear in her left hand and an olive branch in her right. After the reign of George IV she was turned around to face to the right and since then has been seen in various guises. In 1709 Queen Anne gave the figure of Britannia as their badge to the Norfolk Regiment and this was confirmed by the Horse Guards in 1799.

In 1923 correspondence then followed with General Sir Peter Strickland, Colonel of the Regiment, re the use of this figure and it was agreed that there was no problem if the guides had a scroll with just the word Norfolk underneath Britannia.

It was therefore with great pride that in April 1923 the Norfolk guides could then place their first order of 350 copies of the metal badge Britannia.

County Standards were also being made at this time and it was decreed that the county badge would appear on the Standard next to the Trefoil. We believe that it is one of only three county badges that have a military link. 

                                                                                                                                                     by Christine Turner

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