St George’s Day

St George’s Day

St Georges’s Day falls on April 23rd each year and has been quietly celebrated, or perhaps largely ignored in England since the 18th century. Before that it was a major feast day and national holiday dating back to 15thC. It is however, England’s national day since St George holds the position of the patron saint of England.

English people tend to have mixed feeling about St George’s day and the St George cross, which is the flag of England, due in some part to the confusion which persists over the difference between identities of England and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A sizeable proportion of English people and probably a majority of non UK citizens consider English and British to be synonymous, which causes problems particularly for the Scots and Welsh who are most definitely not English, whichever way you look at it.

The 23rd April is also William Shakespeare’s birthday and his death day.

In recent years there has been a resurgence of the use of the St George cross, the English flag, for events such as International football matches with the England team, and that should be welcomed as a correction of the previous use of the Union flag when it’s not a UK-wide  team. Some people feel uncomfortable at the sight of the red and white though, sensing a connection with right wing nationalist politics which has not been historically aligned particularly.

St George's Cross - The English flag

St George's Cross – The English flag

The most effective advocates of celebrating St George’s day are the breweries, who noticed that people drink a lot more alcohol around  St Patrick’s day and would like to see the same happen on as many other occasions as possible, that they can promote.

The George, Wansted

The George, Wansted

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St George’s Day

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