When the much missed Nobby Stiles, Jules Rimet trophy in hand, gleefully danced at the end of play on that joyous afternoon in July fifty-four years ago, there was one aberration to the celebrations. The crowd were overwhelmingly waving the red, white and blue of the Union Flag. It took another thirty years for football to fully come home to the Cross of St George.

For nearly 300 years English national sentiment was expressed almost exclusively in terms of Britishness. It is only comparatively recently that Englishness has visibly began to assert itself.

English Identitarians are not anti-British in the organic sense. All the nations of these Isles share a common intermingled history and there cannot be many of us who do not count a Scottish, Irish or Welsh ancestor or two somewhere in our family trees. What we do consider unhealthy however, is a default, ‘one-size-fits-all’ identity – even if an English one.

As Identitarians we understand that ethno-cultural identities in the British Isles and beyond are multifaceted. English Identity is comprised of a chain that spirals up from our localities (village, parish, town, suburb, city) and on up to the loyalties expressed for our counties and regions, further still to the national level. But for us, the chain doesn’t stop there – it travels on to the civilisational sphere. We believe in a very real European union – not centred in Brussels but spanning from the Atlantic to the Urals and beyond – a brotherhood of closely related peoples, part of a greater meta-ethnic family with a common, continental home. We celebrate Englishness within a European framework.

But let’s rewind again to England. England isn’t one uniform entity from the Channel to the Cheviots. Nor is it merely comprised of those shires bound out by our Saxon forefathers (noble though they are). Englishness is heterogeneous too in our bio-cultural regions like Exmoor, Dartmoor, the Weald, New Forest, Forest of Dean, Black Country, Potteries, the Broads and Fens, Yorkshire Moors and Dales, the Lakes and everywhere else in between. All these places display an independence of spirit, commanding fierce loyalties from their respective natives. However, the ‘clone-town’ conformity of globalisation is unfortunately all too prevalent throughout the country and we need to call out its growing leverage. This is admittedly a daunting prospect – but we do have a strong base to start from: our local and regional distinctiveness. For all its former merits, Union Jack patriotism is looking tired in the current year; identities based around the UK polity increasingly dour and anachronistic. Organic distinctions – still English – are ripening as a natural consequence. Our local and regional identities (Edmund Burke’s ‘little platoons’) should be encouraged; they are natural defences against globalism and bland cosmopolitanism. Our counties – the real ones that is, not the artificial, utilitarian functionaries imposed in the 1970s – each now have their flags. They are gaining in popularity, but every patriot should embrace and promote them as weapons against one-worldness. Further regional identity – loosely based on the fluid, semi-mythical Heptarchy is emerging from dormancy, culturally and latterly with a dash of political expression. As with the counties, the regional banners of Wessex, Mercia and Northumbria, brought out from before the Conquest, are finding favour not only with Joe Public, but dare we say, civic society, fluttering from our public buildings.

As Identitarians we applaud these developments, but we need to go further. The nineteenth century witnessed the start of the great Celtic Revival which has culminated in the strong sense of Celtic identity so luminous today. England needs such a phenomenon. Englishness – real, mythical and semi-mythical, needs to be rebooted and reimagined. The flag of the English white dragon (featured on Identity England’s banner at our London launch in October) has been lifted from obscurity in the last twenty years and should now, with every patriot’s help, fly alongside the Cross of St. George. Our ancestors constantly found new forms of cultural expression and we should continue the story. Wherever new distinctively English music, art, literature, poetry, dance and performance emerge, Identitarians and other patriots should encourage them – or make our own. Many of today’s societal ills were born out of 1960s counterculture. By aiding and building our own now, we are preparing the way to taking back our world. Identitarians know well that cultural change leads to political change.

Our new England should not be limited to a show of flags and presentation, however. A sure way to repel the myriad forces of the new world order are through building and supporting local, community owned economies, local currencies and small businesses. If they flourish, they make for stronger, more cohesive, less atomised communities. We can also campaign for distinctive Englishness in architecture and urban-planning – and for the ‘re-humanisation’ and greening of our cities.

Identity England acutely recognise the immediate, urgent tasks at hand: stopping mass immigration, state-sanctioned multiculturalism and unprecedented demographic change in our country and across Europe. But we also unashamedly maintain a visionary alternative and radical long-term goal too – A new, multi-dimensional England. An England of the regions and localities with a thriving, expressly native economic life that puts communities first.

Of course, most importantly, our new England will be spiritually renewed as a consequence, but in order to achieve this end, those who wish to see the vision realised must first spiritually transform themselves. Are you ready to take this step?

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