This is a pretty expansive subject that I will base on the Wikipedia page "Columbia (name)." To make sense of this concept, which is tied into so many things, and to make it easier for me, I will start by sifting through this page and then expand where I can. So this will not follow a consistent or chronological pattern.
In the very first paragraph, it states: "Columbia is the first popular and poetic name for the United States of America; it is also the origin of the name for the District of Columbia, the federal district which is coextensive with the federal capital, Washington. Columbia is a feminine form derived from Christopher Columbus, one of the first Europeans to explore the Americas after the Vikings. The moniker dates from before the American Revolution in 1776 but fell out of use in the early 20th century."
As stated in the Venezuela entry, "the Americas" was usually just called "America," and still is in most of the world. The proper name for our country is the "united states of America," not "America" or the "United States (U.S.)." With a twist of fate, it may have been named "Vespuccia" after Amerigo Vespucci's surname rather than his first name. It may have been called "Columbia" after Christopher Columbus, or some other name.
At the beginning of the 'History' section, it states: "Christopher Columbus was not considered a hero of the Thirteen Colonies until the mid-18th century and the growing feeling of nationalism among the colonies. The English had always emphasized John and Sebastian Cabot and downplayed Columbus for political reasons. But, for the emerging United States, the Cabots made poor national heroes and were "shadowy agents of a British king," while Spain no longer posed a serious threat. The new nation began to look back to Columbus as a founding hero, and with that change of attitude, the name Columbia became increasingly popular. Advocates for naming the United States "Columbia" continued to press for the name even after the United States Constitution was ratified.
The name of our country may very well have been the "united states of Columbia," and we would be "Columbians." This section went on to state: "At that time, it was common for European countries to use their Latin name as second name, used mainly in formal and poetical contexts and confering respectability on the country concerned (for example "Gallia" for France, "Helvetia" for Switzerland, "Caledonia" for Scotland, "Hibernia" for Ireland etc). In many cases, these names were personified as statuesque female figures. "Columbia" was, in effect, the closest which the United States - located in a continent which the Romans did not know about and hence did not name - could come to emulating this custom. Use of "Columbia" was part of the tendency to use Roman terms and symbols, manifested in the American Eagle as the new country's coat of arms and the use of "Senate" for the US Congress' Upper House and Capitol Hill for Congress' physical location - all derived from Roman history."
There are so many places and institutions in the United States and Canada with the name "Columbia," that I won't list them now. A Wikipedia search for "Columbia" will confirm this in spades. Two large areas which must be named because of their size are the Canadian province of "British Columbia" and the South American country of "Columbia." British Columbia was not named after Christopher Columbus, but Columbia was. That brings us into the part of this which is difficult to understand. That being that there is a parallel between Columbus and the ancient occultic "Queen Columba," which goes right back into the ancient world. With Christopher Columbus' (Christoforo Columbo) real origin so strangely shadowy, some believe that "Columbus" was more of a "Queen Columba banner" for the financiers in Spanish royalty, and possibly in the Vatican, Venice, and Florence (de Medicis). We still don't really know! Even his real name is still vague.
The early Romans worshipped Queen Columba, and it has been an undercurrent personification for Western Civilization ever since, and later as a personification for The USA. Queen Columba was featured in a beautiful American "Manifest Destiny" painting (see image above) by John Gast entitled "American Progress." We have "Uncle Sam," but we also have this shadowy, undefined female "alter-ego" so to speak. And yes, the Statue of Liberty is indeed QUEEN COLUMBA, having been given to us by French Freemasons. This shadowy "woman figure" is incredible when we view it in a historical context. As stated before, this goes clear back into the ancient world, before Greece, into the early civilizations of the Middle East.
As if all of this wasn't odd enough, England, France, Italy, and others, also have their versions, or self-personifications of Queen Columba. Obviously this is a result of Freemasons in these countries. This would explain the tie-in between the ancient Middle East and certain modern symbolism in the West. Why isn't she "acknowledged" in mainstream society?