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What is the matter with the English?

Updated on March 30, 2016
Flag of St George:  The English fly this on sporting events but not so much for our national day.
Flag of St George: The English fly this on sporting events but not so much for our national day. | Source
English culture:  Morris dancing something  many English people laugh at or are not even aware of its existence.
English culture: Morris dancing something many English people laugh at or are not even aware of its existence. | Source
The Anglo - Saxons who founded England and the English language.
The Anglo - Saxons who founded England and the English language. | Source
The Welsh flag:  Welsh people are patriotic and embrace their culture.
The Welsh flag: Welsh people are patriotic and embrace their culture. | Source
Highland games:  Scots people also embrace and are proud of their culture.
Highland games: Scots people also embrace and are proud of their culture. | Source

The Scots and the Welsh do it.

As an Englishman I look at the Scots and they are proud of their kilts, backpipes, highland games and their history. Same as the Welsh with their leaks and daffodils and both the Scots and the Welsh and the Irish (southern Ireland anyway) who were once part of the UK all hang their flags out for their national days. St David's for the Welsh, St Andrew for the Scots and of course St Patrick for the Irish.

In England there seems to be a distinct lack of nationalism and the only time we seem to hang out St George's flags is when its a sports tournament like the World Cup or this year it will be Euro 2016 when we will cheer on our football team against other European nations taking part.

What is it about football and to a lesser extent other sports like rugby or cricket that makes the English patriotic yet when it comes to celebrating our national day in April we seem for the most part decidedly lacklustre.

I think ever since Scotland and Wales have had a certain degree of autonomy though still being part of the UK English nationalism and pride has grown a little in different parts of the country. There are those that do hang out our national flag and there are parades and there is the beginning of something akin to an English parliament in Westminster started by Cameron's government where by Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish cannot vote on matters concerning England but for all that we still in my opinion have a long way to go.

At these sports tournaments like football the Scots and the Welsh have their own national anthems but the English sing 'God Save The Queen' which is actually the British national anthem and we should sing for example 'Jerusalem' or 'There'll Always Be An England' which talks about England and having pride in our nation. I think something is being done to alleviate this but I've heard nothing since and it will be interesting to see what we sing at the Euro football tournament this year.

Is it because we as English people have no pride in ourselves any more, is it because we shun national dances like Morris dancing which is an English cultural dance where as the Scots and Welsh seem to embrace their culture. Is it because we have too many people of foreign descent in England or too many foreigners in England that we have allowed ourselves and our culture to be watered down. On any cooking programme we cook Indian food, Italian food, French food anything but English, has politically correctness made us afraid to fly the English flag because it is offensive to Muslims as it is the old crusader flag or because right wing groups have flown it.

The flag of St George it seems isn't even the real flag of England any way, its the old Anglo - Saxon White Dragon flag carried at Hastings by King Harold who many regard as the last true English king which is to many English groups the true English flag replaced by the Normans by the flag of St George it seems. St George himself was not even English any way I have heard stories he was Lebanese or came from modern day Turkey so there you have it.

Then who are the English, what is it to be English, are we still Anglo - Saxon or does Englishness mean you can come from a different race, religion, nationality, whatever but if your born in England that makes you English?

I think England has made efforts to ask the question who are we and where are we going as a nation but I think we as a nationality we still have a long way to go and when will we find the same nationalism about St George's Day as we do about the English football team.


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    • Nick Bishop profile imageAUTHOR

      Nick Bishop 

      2 years ago from Blackpool

      Interesting

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 

      2 years ago from Auburn, WA

      Great questions. I've always wondered that myself. Is it political correctness run amok? Education system? Also, are there distinct differences in attitude depending on where you live? Here in the States, we think of the South (along w/the Midwest & Mountain West) to be more patriotic than the Northwest or Southern California. Shared.

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