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Boris and St. George

with 3 comments

Boris JohnsonBoris flies the flag for England

Thankfully St. Patrick’s Day passed in a rather muted fashion in South Shields for a change, no huge binge drink celebrations with the ‘black stuff’, not many pubs disguised as leprechaun huts decorated with shamrocks and the supermarkets seemed to miss it altogether.

Are they starting to get the message?

This is England, and unless you are in the midst of an Irish community domiciled here, then there is no need to celebrate St. Paddy, but because we live in England there is no reason why we should not be proud to celebrate on April 23rd, and commemorate our national saint, Saint George.

Putting aside all of the historical myths. legends, and facts about this “Johnny Foreigner” (George was not English) we should recognise his symbolic attachment to the English and not be embarrassed about his Christian martyrdom. All right so the business of slaying dragons is a myth, but he was destined to become a symbol for England from the moment that Edward ll decided to dedicate the Order of the Garter in George’s name and Knights of the Garter fought under the flag of St. George. The cult of George was strengthened during the Hundred Years War against France when his saintly exploits and martyrdom were recalled to rally the troops, the feast day of St. George on 23rd. April each year was declared by the Synod of Oxford in 1222. George is the patron saint of many other countries, not just England, and also of the worldwide scouting movement.

So I am delighted that the Conservative Mayor of London has decided that St. George’s Day is worth celebrating, Boris said:

‘St George’s Day has been ignored in London for far too long, but I’m truly pleased to announce some fantastic events to mark this occasion.

‘We have much to be proud of in this great country. England has given so much to the world, politically, socially and artistically.’

In recent years, many local authorities have banned taxi drivers, builders and firemen from displaying the Cross of St George – often citing spurious health and safety reasons. However, Labour in government have not been exactly lavish when it comes to celebrating England’s national saint’s day, over the past five years, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport spent just £230 promoting St George’s Day (maybe, it’s because there are so many Scots in the government, huh?)

So here’s hoping that a few people in South Shields can follow Boris’ lead, let’s see Boy Scouts marching on St. George’s Day, lets have pubs and restaurants making an effort to heavily promote English food and beverages, let’s see a celebration of English beers, let’s see schools creating artworks that celebrate England and her history, lets see the flag of St. George flying all over South Shields – it does NOT belong to the football fans or the fans of the far right, it’s high time we claimed it back for England!

Last year my local was well decorated in the flag of St. George, inside and out, we enjoyed Yorkshire puddings filled with roast beef, we played jingoistic music (Last Night of the Proms stuff) and The Beatles, it was great fun and it was someone’s idea of traditional England, shame we didn’t have Morris dancers. There were still two idiots drinking Guinness though.

What is your local planning to do on St. George’s Day?

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Written by curly

March 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm

3 Responses

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  1. The drinks industry is responsible for the popularity of St Patricks Day. Years ago it may have been celebrated by parts of the Tyneside Irish Community but it has been bigged up by pub chains as a money making venture. Sainthood has nothing to do it money making has everything to do with it.
    I was working in Newcastle and there were lots of plastic paddys around on 17th. Never been near Ireland just out for a p*** up


    March 23, 2009 at 7:14 pm

  2. […] March, 2009 · No Comments Here. (Via […]

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