The United Kingdom is a country in europe occupying the whole of the island of Great-Britain the northern part of the Ireland as well as a few small adjoining islands.
The United Kingdom is currently divided into 4 entities (England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland) called "countries" which operate for all intent and purpose as sub-national entities.
A number of oversea territories are also considered to be part of the country while what are officially known as "crown dependencies", the isle of Man and the channel islands, are considered to be "self-governing posessions of the [british] crown" but not part of the United Kingdom itself. Despite this, they are connected to a large extent with the united kingdom, something which is reflected in insignias and uniforms used on these islands. Apart from the Armed Forces which serves the whole of the UK, distinct uniformed organisations such as police and fire brigade operate under the control of "countries" and local government authorities. Uniform and insignias used by these display only minor, if any, variations between them.
Due to its former status as "the empire on which the sun never set", the United Kingdom has had a rather large influence on the uniforms and insignias of other countries, especially the navy to the point that the system of cuff rings with curls used by naval officers the world over is often used by countries with no connection to the UK.
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