Wednesday, April 23, 2008

By George!

I'm pretty apathetic to these patron saint days at the best of times, and I'm not one for national pride. So seeing all these posters and signs up in shops saying stuff like "Celebrate Our National Day With Pride!" has been a bit off-putting for me. I don't know, isn't it better to take pride in what our nation does, rather than some nebulous mythical figure?

I know it's just a gimmick to sell more tat in the shops, but all this celebration of the flag strikes me as a tad right-wing and exclusive, really, and it gives me the creeps a bit.


  1. To be fair, I think it's fine to have pride in your nation, but I do share your reluctance, given the flag has essentially been hijacked by the British Nazi Party. Which is a shame, as there's nothing wrong with a bit of patriotism now and again. It's when you don't temper it with dose of reality it becomes nationalism, and you should be beaten with sticks.

    There does seem to be this weird feeling that we somehow can't celebrate the fact we're English, because of ill-defined guilt over the whole Empire thing, as well as a great deal of national self-loathing. Throw that in with tabloid scare-stories about Political Correctness Gone Maaad (Always good for a chuckle), and you get the feeling it's somehow a forbidden thing, as if The Man doesn't want you to wave a St. Georges Cross.

    I bet the Portugese, Russians, Greeks and Ethiopians don't have the whole angst and drama over a bloody flag. Given that he's their Saint as well.

    Meh, not like anyone really cares. As unlike St. Patricks, it's not an excuse for a piss-up.

  2. Oh, I agree. I'm fine with national pride, as long as it's justified, and doesn't turn into ugly nationalism.

    I'm sure you're right that there's some Imperial Guilt bubbling under there somewhere. It might also be difficult because unlike the Welsh, the Irish and the Scots, it's harder to pin down one idea of the essential English identity to base this stuff on, so you get this vague sense of aimless national pride.