It was back in the early 1800's that the Brits left the sodden, miserable shores of their murky island, grabbed their trumpets, tucked their trousers into the socks, and began conquering the world with the cunning use of flags.
Like all good conquerors, they had a backup plan in the event flags didn't work - guns, which - as it turned out - work bloody well.
From about 1815 to 1915, our tea-drinking friends were so successful in this endeavour that the soggy little island in the North Atlantic had turned nearly a quarter of the globe red at its peak.
They were, of course, not the first to embark on empire building.
Ahead of them is a long list: the Babur Empire, lasting from the 17th to 18th century and spanning Europe and Asia. Then there was the "Golden Horde"... the Mongols, who at the height of their reign, incorporated over a quarter of the worlds land mass.
Let's not forget Pax Romana. The empire lasted 500 years and at its height extended into Africa, Europe, and the Middle East and bullied about a quarter of the world's population. All impressive in its own right.