I’m not at all a patriot, in fact the idea of being proud of a geographical location you just so happened to be born in is nonsensical, but this which I have taken from Facebook makes a lot of good points.
“Well, we’re on the eve of the day of celebration of England’s ‘Patron Saint’ and the bullshit is flowing thick and fast on Facebook and twitter etc. So I thought I’d put my ten-penneth in and add a few facts.St George Can Kiss My English Arse!
We’re living in the 21st century, the power of church over state has been in delightful and rapidly-accelerating decline for the best part of 300 years and our access to education and information has never been so readily available.
For me this begs the question; why the hell is England still dragging around the pathetically archaic and long redundant figure of Saint George as its symbolic ‘Patron’? Why, as a nation, are we not embarrassed and upset that the story of the official patron of our country is based on bullshit and propaganda?
Does St George really hold any relevance in the contemporary society of the England we all know and love?
For those of you who know nothing of St George, other than the bullshit fairy-tale of him slaying a Dragon (invariably depicted as doing so in the full plate armour of the middle ages) to save a beautiful princess in the hope of ‘slipping her the pig’ by way of reward; here are a few of the generally accepted historical details appertaining to the man himself.
Saint George was born somewhere in the region of Cappadocia in what is now Turkey sometime around the year 280 AD. He enlisted in the Roman army when he was 17 during the reign of the emperor Diocletian.
After 20 or so years of butchering and oppressing all sorts of people for ‘the glory of Rome’ he found himself in Palestine under the command of the emperors right-hand-man Galerius who was in the process of giving the Christians a right good thrashing.
At some point during his travels around the Far East, George had become a Christian and soon fell out with Galerius over what he saw as the cruel persecution of his fellow followers of the great Sky Hippy. Consequently Galerius had George’s head chopped off on April 23rd in the year 303 AD at Lydda in Palestine.
It is generally accepted that George never so much as visited Britain at any point during his life. He lived about 1,000 years too early for the use of the plate armour he is so often depicted wearing and it is a fairly safe assumption that he never actually killed a dragon, due to them not actually existing. (Though had he actually lived in England, this could readily be accepted as a euphemism for killing his wife.)
Despite the total lack of any tangible link with Britain, George was adopted as the patron Saint of England in 1415 AD; following the sound thrashing that Henry V gave the French at the battle of Agincourt.
The red cross on a white background that had been the emblem of the mercenaries and robber knights under King Richard the 1st in the crusades more than 200 years before was adopted as the emblem of St George.
(So, not as I read in some badly researched bullshit on Facebook yesterday, “Richard the ‘Lionheart’ adopted the cross of St George for the crusades”, which is why you should never rely on Wikipedia for historical research).
Just to add to the incongruity of St George as the Patron Saint of England it is worth remembering that Henry V was a Welshman (born in Monmouth Castle) descended from the French House of Plantagenet (rulers of the Anjou region of France).
So basically the current Patron of our fair land was actually a Turkish mercenary of dubious repute, canonised by a corrupt and oppressive religion and chosen for England by a king born in Wales who’s family were all French.
So, bearing all of this in mind, I ask the question once again. “Why is St George still the official symbolic patron of England?”
It makes no sense to me at all!
Isn’t it time we dragged our national identity out of the superstition-riddled middle ages?
Isn’t it time we adopted a patron who has some relevance in our current society and preferably one who has tangible links to England?
It’s not like we’re stuck for other options is it? English history is amongst the richest in the world and it is positively awash with real historical characters who made real contributions to the development of our country.
Sir Isaac Newton (born in Lincolnshire) was one of the greatest mathematicians and physicists in history and his scientific experimentation and mathematical theories changed the way we perceive the world and indeed the universe.
Charles Dickens (born in Portsmouth) is accepted as one of the world’s greatest authors. The social commentary in many of his works revealed the desperate plight of England’s poorest people to the better off in society, which in turn influenced many social reforms.
Emmeline Pankhurst (born in Manchester) stepped out of a comfortable existence and put herself in the firing line to fight for the right for women to have a vote in Britain. Without her, half of the people in the western world may still not have the right to vote.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel (born in Portsmouth) was one of England’s greatest engineers who epitomises the ingenuity and pragmatism that has been instrumental in making Great Britain such an influential nation on the world stage.
These, and countless more English men and women have done things that have changed the world for the better.
As I see it, Saint George’s only contribution to the world was to play a very tenuous part in the Roman Catholic Church becoming one of the most oppressive and ruthless forces on earth for the best part of a thousand years.
Of all the names that spring to mind as prospective patrons for our beautiful country the one that makes most sense to me would have to be Charles Darwin.
Darwin not only changed the way we think in England, he changed the way people think throughout most of the world. His theory of evolution has not only been instrumental in loosening the stranglehold of many tyrannical religions on the world, it has also led directly to a sea-change in the way that most people see the world and their place in it.
And as a lover of irony I can also see much joy in replacing the patron so beloved of so many right-wing racist groups in Britain with the man whose theories on evolution strongly suggest that the dull-witted mouth-breathing fuckwit members of groups like the EDL, Britain First, and the BNP; are somewhat lower on the evolutionary scale than a Retarded Kipper.
Saint George can kiss my arse; let’s have an English hero, chosen by the English people. And I nominate Charles Darwin as the new patron of England!”