Online battle for St George's Bank Holiday

It was former British Prime Minister and Statesman Winston Churchill who said: “There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England”. A website dedicated to the promotion and wider recognition of St George’s Day and revival of what it sees as the ‘lost essence of being English’, claims to have received just over 600,000 votes in support of its campaign to make the English saints day a national holiday.  The St George emblem, a red cross on a white background is the flag of England and was adopted by Richard The Lionheart who brought it to England in the 12th century. The king’s soldiers wore it on their tunics to avoid confusion in battle.  

The ‘Saint George’s Day’ site sends potential supporters an email which says: “There is a chance the public can make St Georges Day a Public Bank Holiday after this year. That means a day off with pay. The site needs at least 1,000,000 votes for the government to take it seriously and give us another holiday”. Enthusiasts are then asked to register their vote and pass the email and  link  to as many people as possible.

The site’s guest book provides an opportunity for visitors to leave their comments, with 357 contributions, here is a sample which provides colourful insight into public opinion on this issue:

Comments by Paul on 23 April 2006 at 19:46     

St Georges day is a load of crap. Paddys day is always more fun with a better crowd enjoying... The English are to busy being jealous of other nations
United Kingdom    
Comments by Tom on 23 April 2006 at 19:17     

No Saint's days please, we're Protestant.
(But we should celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday)
Comments by mick on 23 April 2006 at 15:58

I'm from London which is the capital city of England and we need a parade to tell all the world we are not all racist thugs HAPPY ST GEORGES DAY
Comments by AC on 23 April 2006 at 14:24     
This is all a bit pathetic...
United Kingdom    
Comments by Tom on 22 April 2006 at 18:44     

Yeah nice way to bring a spot of racism to the debate, Russ.
Sant Jordi is the patron saint in Barcelona too... we give each other a rose and a book
Comments by Citizen of the World on 22 April 2006 at 12:17    

St George's Day has an APOSTROPHE in it. If you're going to be banging on about being proud of being English, at least use your own language properly.
United Kingdom    
Comments by KB on 20 April 2006 at 17:07     

Ahoy Racists!! Another year and another round of whinging from you 'patriotic' types! England is multicultural now. Get over it.
United Kingdom    

Comments by Mike Burke on 23 April 2006 at 23:34

St. George has a lot of history, I am proud of it. ken Livingston gives money for St Patrick’s Day celebrations but not St. George’s Day!
United Kingdom    

Comments by Stevie E on 23 April 2006 at 22:52

Proud to be English! Walked around town today waving a St.George flag. Love being English and we should be allowed to be proud of it!

Comments by Dean Proud to be ENGLISH on 23 April 2006 at 22:15    

To right England should have its own bank holiday Next step to make England a nationality.:D

Comments by englandsglory88 on 23 April 2006 at 22:02

St.George's day should be made a national bank holiday again, we should be proud of our country and make it a great country again, KICK OUT THE MUDS

Comments by Graham on 23 April 2006 at 22:00    

This country only celerbrates other ethnic minorities national days what does that tell us about Tony Blair..F**k him and his policies be proud!

Comments by Alfred Tabor on 23 April 2006 at 21:55

I wholehearted support England having a national day and Saint George's seems particularly appropriate.
Alf Tabor in sunny South Australia

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