Today is 23rd April – unfortunately still a day much like any other for most English people. Our national day still largely goes unnoticed for many, and the media (if they mention it at all) merely use it as an excuse to mock true English identity and to indulge in a spot of navel gazing about the apparent need to engineer some new ‘multicultural’ Englishness. Your local pub (if you could actually step inside to look this year) might have acquired a barrel of St George’s Ale, brewed as a once-a-year gimmick, but there won’t be much more fanfare than that.
In all fairness, we are being a little cynical here. In recent years our patron saint has undergone something of a revival. Public displays of observance of are becoming more visible and there are now a handful of large scale, ‘officially approved’ events around the country to commemorate our national saint. This is probably in part a reaction to an obvious anomaly – the continuing popularity of Saints Patrick, Andrew and David. It is not surprising that this would cause some to seek out St. George, hitherto obscured by Britishness.
The Left of course relish the 23rd as it provides them with their annual spot of patriot-baiting, although they are strangely silent when St. Patrick’s and St. Andrew’s Day come around. They will use the excuse that the Irish, Scottish, and Welsh Saints Days encapsulate a justified expression of anti-imperialism – as if the common folk of England were ever the instigators of any perceived past wrongs. They conveniently forget that the Union of England and Scotland (and the subsequent beginnings of Empire) was a deal concocted just as much by the Scottish elites as their English counterparts.
Every year too, like a broken record, Anti-English cheerleaders for cosmopolitanism love to point out that our Saint George was a foreigner. Indeed, he was – a Roman army soldier of Greek heritage (his mother may have been Palestinian, although other sources say she was Greek like his father). He was in born in Cappadocia, then a Greek outpost in Anatolia. Whatever his real lineage, he was certainly of an early European environment. His very name – Greek in origin – means ‘farmer’; an honourable profession that those of us who revolt against the modern world admire far more than some cog in the globalist behemoth. But again, horror of horrors, our detractors say the English cannot claim St. George as we to have to share him with (among others) Georgia, Bulgaria and (gasp) Ethiopia. We have no issue with this, although we cannot help but ask that if having a non-English Saint negates us English as an ancestral, ethno-tribal reality, would the same go for Ethiopians and Bulgarians?
The point is, over the centuries the English have anglicised St. George, in the same way that other peoples have moulded him to their national story. He pops up as the hero in English Mummers and Pace Egg folk plays (still as popular as ever) and in this way, we have made him our own. UK devolution has now propelled English Identity to rival Britishness – something we obviously welcome. If it is to continue, it must involve real cultural revival; real grassroots Englishness free from the commercial tackiness and plastic patriotism embodied in JJB Sports ‘En-ger-land’ flags. In this vein, some English patriots want to jettison St George all together in favour of our older pre-Norman patron saint: Edmund, (A king and an Englishman – something the Left won’t like!) We say keep both. The English story is a rich tapestry that has accommodated many layers of identity and expression and 23rd April is definitely part of that – and of course we add our voice to growing calls to make it a public holiday. We wish our supporters, English patriots and all lovers of national identity a very happy St. George’s Day.