America and the Caribbean - How Britain profited from barbarism The songs Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia will be played without lyrics at the BBC Proms this year. This led Boris Johnson to call for an end to a “bout of self recrimination and wetness” about British history. The bloody legacy of the British Empire is not something to be proud of. Through vicious military conquest, it used enslavement, massacres, famines and partitions to create profit. It was the largest empire ever known, covering a quarter of the world and colonising hundreds of millions of people. The Union flag represents its barbarity.