I don’t know if this is a worldwide phenomenon but it is certainly a British one.

In every city in Britain you will find a ‘Hope‘ Street, a ‘Union’ Street, a ‘King’ Street and a ‘Queen’ Street.

So what?

Well, as silly as it sounds, it is actually an early form of propaganda, a constant reminder of who is who and what is supposed to be what, similar to the statues of mass murderers, sorry, war heroes, we see everywhere. Like many other things, it just slips into the subconscious and people use the names without considering what they mean.

Union St. in Glasgow for example, is where you get the bus, but it is named so to celebrate something that most people in this country never wanted.  

The act of union was a very unpopular measure. There was mass unrest in almost every town over a certain size in this country (Scotland) when it was signed.

No other point to this, just mentioning it.



Thanks to Kevin Williamson for this little video showing some street signs being ‘liberated’


  1. totally agree, they did in the Soviet Union to great effect. Although your map is questionionable, it has ireland highlighted, which was not a part of the union in 1707 or obviously now.

  2. Hey Micheal dinnae get me started on this subject! A competition was held in 1767 for a street plan for Edinburgh’s New Town – which became the blueprint for modern urban street planning all over the world – was won by an entry by a 21 year old pro-British novice that was originally shaped as a Union Jack: with George Street, Princes Street and Queen Street all intersecting.

    It got rejected as impractical, despite satisfaction in the patriotic idea behind it, and thus a grid system replaced it. This was at a time in Scotland’s history, just 25 years after Culloden, when Gaelic was banned as was the wearing of tartan and plaid.

    Aye, street planning in Scotland in particluar was all about promoting a British identity as opposed to a Scottish one.

  3. Interesting idea: I wonder if we (in England) can get a “Barnett road” and a “Westlothian way” in our towns, to remind our politicians of how they’re abusing us.

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