Happy St George’s Day everyone!
What? What’s that? Who’s he? Huh?
They might be the questions you asked yourself when reading this. But St George the patron saint of England. He ‘supposedly’ slayed the dragon and saved the maiden from her untimely death.
According the mediaeval legend, he prevented the death of a young women, who was threatened by a fire-breathing monster. This isn’t likely to be true.
The real St George was born in Turkey, lived in the fourth century AD and fought for the Roman Empire. Like his Christian father, he joined the retinue of Diocletian, the Roman Emperor. After disobeying orders to kill Christians, he was tortured and beheaded. Said, to be one of the first Christian martyrs.
Why am I writing about this? Because there is a cool Google doodle.
It’s a rather strange day in England on the 23rd April. Unlike Wales, Scotland and Ireland, the English don’t have their patron saint marked with a bank holiday. It is a national feast day, but it’s not the same. In fact, it can be annoying when any display of pride, enthusiasm or patriotism for your country, in England, can be seen as ‘racist’. Traditionally, us English haven’t really grasped celebrating our national identity. Maybe it’s because we’re modest or maybe it’s because we don’t have time for a ‘whole day’ of celebration…
It’s a harsh cycle that seems to exist in our society. Those days of the extremist EDL using the St George’s Cross for hate has left the waters muddied. It now means that anyone who shows pride in our country is wrongly labelled; and that’s a shame.
It’s not great to be overwhelmed with nationalism, prejudice and later hate – but acknowledge your heritage, identity and background. There’s no ‘patriotism police’, demanding that everyone has to wave a flag or sing the national anthem; but a sense of perspective of where we’ve come from and our values is key. The values that modern day England stands for and our modern culture for all.
Happy St George’s day.