Today England will fly the flag of St. George in celebration of its patron saint. Flags bearing a red cross on a white background will be flown from churches and public buildings across the land.
The St. George’s flag, which goes to make up part of our British flag, was adopted by Richard the Lionheart. The king’s soldiers wore it on their tunics to avoid confusion in battle.
Like England, every country in the United Kingdom, has its own patron saint. St. David for Wales, St. Andrew for Scotland and St. Patrick for N. Ireland.
National Days in the United Kingdom are not celebrated to the same extent as National Days in many other countries. For example, only St. Patrick’s Day in N. Ireland and St. Andrews Day in Scotland (as from 2007) are taken as official holidays. Other National Days are normal working days.
On St. George’s Day most people show their allegiance by wearing a red rose. The thistle is regarded as the emblem for Scotland’s St. Andrews Day - 30 November, the wearing of a shamrock marks St. Patrick's Day on 17 March in N. Ireland and the Welsh wear a daffodil on St. David’s Day, 1 March.
Shakespeare made sure nobody would forget St. George when he wrote in King Henry V’s finishing pre-battle speech the famous saying ‘Cry God for Harry, England and St. George.
St. George, the saint who killed the dragon and died for his Christian beliefs.
Have a ‘Happy St. George’s Day’ everyone.
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