As usual St. George’s day underwhelms the nation even as some are still recovering from the effects of St. Patrick’s day over a month ago, (okay I exaggerate but everyone knew about St. Patrick’s day well in advance of it and many celebrated it).
I’m ambivalent about the day, afterall St George and his cross are often, (perhaps unfairly), associated with the right wing of the British political spectrum. And the Left have often been complicit in promoting that association perhaps seeing it as a nationalist, (therefore an anti-internationalist), symbol.
But St. George is a curious choice for England’s Patron Saint, unlike St. Patrick who was Irish or St. David who was Welsh, St. George was by all accounts a Turk! What’s more his mother was from the Palestine and the virgin he famously saved from the dragon was Libyan!
By a curious coincidence, April the 23rd is William Shakespeare’s birthday, (it’s also his death date!). I expect that if England were to have a national day then William Shakespeare’s birthdate wouldn’t be a bad one – and one that everyone would be quite happy to celebrate, afterall…
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”
(–Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet”, 1595)