St George’s Day – A day to come together and be thankful for our history and this country’s achievements
In an exclusive article for Endeavour Public Affairs to mark St George’s Day, Philip Davies MP explains what St George’s Day means to him, and why he thinks more people should celebrate it.
Philip Davies is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Shipley and is Vice Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for St George’s Day.
To follow Philip Davies on Twitter – @PhilipDaviesMP
One of the most moving parts of Lady Thatcher’s funeral for me was hearing “I Vow to Thee My Country” ringing out around St Paul’s Cathedral. I found it moving because of her dedication and belief in our country but also because I too have great pride in Great Britain. I do not believe we always make the most of this thanks to the interference of politically correct do-gooders.
However, if it is frowned on by some to be patriotic when it comes to the United Kingdom, it is apparently more nationalistic, people have said, and even racist to be proud of England. It is because I disagree so fundamentally with this that I am really keen for people to celebrate St George’s Day as a way of showing that this is not something they are prepared to accept. There has been a perception that it is fine if you are Scottish, Welsh, and certainly Irish to celebrate that fact, but not so fine if you are English.
If we rewind back to 2005, I felt that there really was becoming a problem with the perception of the flag of St George and it concerned me greatly. There were examples of the flag being banned and of attempts to curtail or even snuff out St George’s Day celebrations. During the General Election campaign that year I decided to take the opportunity to give out St George’s flag postcards for people to put up in their windows around the time of St George’s Day. I was actually surprised and very pleased with the number of people who did!
Although St George is the patron saint of England, St George’s Day is obviously not just celebrated in England alone. Here in England, it is symbolic rather than anything else and a time for us to come together and be thankful for our history and this country’s achievements. Participation is certainly not limited on the grounds of ethnicity, background or religion – it is actually all-embracing.
I believe we are slowly moving away from the incorrect perception of St George’s Day that managed to creep up on us for a few years. This is partly because the English have had enough and are fighting back. However, it is also because people from all religions and from different communities have seen the sense in supporting it as a way of breaking down division walls and actually tackling the resentment that political correctness helps to breed. I am pleased to see that many events are being held up and down the country to celebrate St George’s Day this year – including many that have already taken place over the weekend.
This brings me to my last point about St George’s Day – and that is that we could all celebrate together if it was a bank holiday. I think that St George’s Day would make a far better bank holiday than the May (Labour) Day one so would happily vote to swap them around!
Published: Tuesday 23 April 2013
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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Endeavour Public Affairs or any of our clients.