The people of Britain have for centuries been recognized for their patriotism and pride in their country, with Scotland, Ireland, and Wales celebrating their respective national days – St. Andrew’s, St. Patrick’s, and St. David’s day.
England, however, seems to be at the brunt of bullying from authorities about their own St. George’s Day celebrations, with local councils and police forces attempting to put a stop to the English flag being flown, stating that it could “cause offense”.
In Bradford, a city in the north of England, local Boy Scouts are possibly facing their last ever St. George’s Day parade, due to police claiming that they no longer have the funds available to marshal such an event, despite the fact that the parade has been a tradition for decades, and police presence is still made available for other cultural events.
This is not the first time that the English have been warned about flying their own flag, with newspapers reporting stories about citizens being stopped by police and told to remove their St George’s Cross flag from both vehicles and private homes, leading many people to question their rights in their own country.
An English taxi driver was ordered by his local council to remove his England flags from his private cab, with the explanation being given that they were “a concern for public safety”.
There seems to be some confusion about the reason behind the attempts to ban the Cross of Saint George, with the most common reason being that its presence upsets the Muslim communities due to St. George’s historic association with the medieval Crusades. But Islamic Tory spokesperson for community cohesion, Sayeeda Warsi, said in 2009 that England’s flag should be flown by all religions, to ‘reclaim the saint from the hands of the British National Party’.
It is widely known that other cultures living in the UK are freely allowed to celebrate their own traditions, adorning their homes, businesses and vehicles with their respective flags and icons, with road closures, and police presence throughout these celebrations. So to deny the English the right to fly their own default flag has caused a lot of resentment between the English and other cultures – something which in this day and age is not going to aid in bringing groups together peacefully, especially when relationships between other religions, cultures and ethnicities is already so tense.
While there is sadly still a lot of official red tape, it is currently not illegal to display the Cross of St. George in Britain, and many newspapers, Facebook networking pages, and public figures have campaigned for people to do just that; to be openly proud of their heritage, and celebrate England’s own national day on April 23rd.