Friday, 23 April 2010
St George and His Day
Here we are once again 'celebrating' St Georges Day! I say 'celebrating' but possibly I mean 'ignoring' for the most part. Wandering around the streets paved with gold I saw only a couple of vehicles flying his flag. Possibly the stories revealing just how such flags increase your petrol consumption made folks wary in these financially troubled times, possibly, like most folks, they just didn't know what the day was all about! Low down the 'Daily Mail' today there was an item about the Ugandan born Archbishop of York flying his St Georges Flag and enjoying the 'Englishness' of it all. This has brought out many who agree with him, and others who reckon this reflects on why Englishmen are afraid to fly their own flag! Read the following comments!
St George himself possibly existed, and may well have been a Roman soldier executed during a time of persecution, but there again I am not sure how the story began, read here and consider the options. What ever the case may be he did become patron saint for several nations and cities. It is possible that the idea of a 'patron saint' grew during the years when Christians were free to tour the Roman Empire visiting places where the famous were reputed to be buried. It is very easy for some, badly taught, to imagine that they could pray to such dead people.this of course is not biblical. However in the areas where the bible was not adhered to some did expect dead 'Saints' to answer prayer. Since the reformation few have actually believed in this in the north of Europe. This means that only Roman Catholic nations tend to adhere to such 'Saints' and the UK lost all interest in them many years ago. Today's nationalism has restored them, although not for religious reasons.
The rise of Scottish nationalism in the sixties, and the success found since then has resulted in English jealousy. The poorly taught history has left England with little understanding of what the 'United Kingdom' actually is, and hence allowed them to treat Scotland and Wales with indifference and contempt. Sadly when the Scots and Welsh objected and nationalists began to appear at Westminster there grew an English demand for 'Their own parliament!" Incredible! The parliament at Westminster has been the English parliament for many years, and remained the 'English parliament' even after 1707! Yet these people do not realise this? Incredible! The history taught in schools, the use of the 'Union Flag' as 'England's flag,' the parliament always referring to 'England' when they meant to say 'Britain,' and the media coverage considering the same has evaded such people. Since they discovered in 1996 that England's flag was in fact the cross of St George a movement to encourage its use has arisen, for the wrong reasons.
There is of course no reason whatsoever for Englishmen in England not to fly their own flag. Mistaking the Union flag for their own has meant a great many have failed to fly their St Georges flags, however there have always been church buildings, public houses, councils and individuals who have correctly flown England's flag. It is to be regretted that some city councils have indeed objected on occasion to the Union or English flag being flown as this has been regarded as 'racist!' How this can be is beyond me, yet such has, occasionally, been the case. In such circumstances, with the BNP, UKIP and the Tory media exaggerating the 'immigrant threat,' it is no wonder some have come to regard the indigenous 'white' populace as hard done by. In spite of the thousand year of English oppression against the Scots it is clear England has forgotten, or in truth, never actually known what it is to be 'English!'
It is to be much regretted that in 1707 England did not appreciate the power of the union. Instead of attempting to rename Scotland 'North Britain,' she could have emphasised the benefits brought by peaceful co-existence. However she quickly forgot and by 1914 it was common to refer to Great Britain as 'England' almost constantly. Churchill, a man famous for his mythological approach to British history, never appears to talk about 'England,' but refers to 'Great Britain' constantly, although I have not checked this out. And it is in the act of standing together and 'standing alone' against the Nazi threat in 1940 under a perceived threat of invasion that many Scots came to accept gladly the notion of being 'British!' Had a regard for Wales and Scotland been found in England after this Scots nationalism would never have taken off and the Englishman's concern to discover what he and his nation actually comprises would not arise. There are a lot of things the English ought to be proud of, and much they need to regret. Flying their flag is not one of them!