St George, patron saint of England whose flag, the Saint George’s Cross, is the flag of England. It contributes the square red cross to the Union Flag which flies in the canton of both the New Zealand and Australian flags.
As alluded to by Paul, St George was allegedly a slayer of dragons amongst other heroic deeds and ironically was probably Greek or Turkish. He was probably adopted around the time of the Crusades although I’m not too sure. “For England and St George!” went the battle cry.
Everyone knows about St Patrick and many even Scotland’s St Andrew but poor old St George of England always seems to get forgotten. The parish church where I grew up always flew the English flag of St George on his day, the 23rd April.
St. George wasn't only known in England. There is a locally well known 15th century statue of him and a dragon in a church here in Stockholm. ( St. Göran och draken ) It was a religious statue, but many people have interpreted it to be a methaphore for the Swedes and Danes. You can guess who's who...
Sad to say that in some parts of the country a few "politically insane" councils have tried to make people feel ashamed of their history and decreed that flying the Cross of St. George (or the Union flag) is "racist" and an insult to the minorities.
Fortunately, most of the people in this area have more sense and the English flag was flying from homes and car antennas.
Paul & all the English contributers to this forum. A belated happy St. George's Day!!
I think you have to turn these things into fully community / family all embrasing events or symbols like flags etc get their meanings distorted as they are hijacked by the right wing / other extremists.
E.g. in Ireland St. Patrick's day, shamrocks, harps, irish flags etc are very much associated with a fun family day out.
[This message has been edited by djk (edited 04-27-2004).]