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How should we celebrate St George’s Day next year?

St George’s Day passed last week. I tried to celebrate it but the pub that I and my companion visited had ignored the festival and so I had a glass of Young’s, rather than the obligatory Bombardier. Oh well. Of course, the day should be more that about a pint and it strikes me as a shame that the English have undervalued their patron saint: promotion St George’s Day could be a force for good, helping to encourage integration of immigrants, for example, and helping overcome the damage of muddled thinking on multiculturalism.

Moreover, as someone who is sympathetic to English independence from Scotland (a nation we are forced to subsidise), it seems to me that encouraging an English national identity would have some positive effects. Maybe readers have some ideas on how we could mark it next year?

Incidentally, I liked this very good short clip of Iain Dale and Simon Heffer discussing the issue as part of the weekly Right On programme from Telegraph TV:

10 comments to How should we celebrate St George’s Day next year?

  • Monty

    Interesting discussion, I tend to agree with Heffer. The English are getting fed up with being half-married.

    Don’t care for the format though. Did they have to film it so it looks like they are both sharing one pair of outsize trousers?

  • ian

    The idea of a ‘National Day’ leaves me absolutely cold – it has too much resonance with the sort of ultra-nationalism popular with both left and right totalitarian states.

    The fact that in this case it is centred on some non-existent religious symbol only makes it worse.

  • Kevin B

    I haven’t watched the video so apologies if this has been covered there, but I think trying to get the English to celebrate St George’s day is flogging the proverbial dead horse.

    The only way you’ll get us to indulge in any sort of national fervor is if Signor Cappello drags our brave lads into the next World Cup, or the FA bribe enough countries and grovel obsequiously enough to Herr Blatter to get us awarded a World Cup of our own. And even then, half the country will sniff disdainfully about the other half driving around in flag bedecked white Transits.

    Of course the government could set up a commission, stuffed ful of the great and the good, to investigate the issue, but would you really want to celebrate Yasmin’s day.

    I suppose another Falklands type war might get the flags waving, but I doubt we’ve got the force projection to reclaim the Channel Islands these days, so I guess it’s just down the pub for a pint and a moan about how the English have got no national pride.

  • J

    The fact that in this case it is centred on some non-existent religious symbol only makes it worse.

    I share your lack of enthusiasm for national days. However, I should point out that the religious symbol clearly does exist. The fact that there was no person called George who did the things St George did is irrelevant, and the same is true of many of the famous saints, such as St Christopher. It is the symbol that matters, not how it came into being.

    I would prefer the Spanish approach, where individual towns or regions could find a saint they like (rather like finding a town to ‘twin’ with, only cheaper), and then declare that saint’s day a holiday. This would of course annoy secularists. Or perhaps it would just accelerate Mr Mandela’s beatification….

  • I hate the idea of a state sponsored/directed national day… however I love the idea of English people simply going out on the piss or whatever spontaneously on St. George’s Day.

  • I’m on board with Perry on this one. St. Georges day should be a day when the REAL English go out for a proper pub crawl, wear and fly the flag and dare anybody to say anything.

    In fact, that sounds like such a great idea, I believe I’ll see about putting something together here. Perhaps in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Triumph Club, some of whom have been known to lift a pint or two.

  • Laird

    But don’t you already have Guy Fawkes Day?

  • Alex

    With a question mark, perhaps?

  • Eamon Brennan

    How should we celebrate St George’s Day next year?

    Whatever damn way you like. If Englishness has any definition at all it’s not tolerance or fair-play or any of the usual platitudes that get trotted out.

    It’s individualism. This is the country of William Heath Robinson, Eric Gill, William Blake, Vivian Stanshall, William Morris, Robert Smith and Barnes Neville Wallis amongst others. All of them looking at the world in their own way.

  • RAB

    I think you need a new saint.

    The trouble with identifying with St George is he just wasn’t English, was he.