St George’s day should be a holiday – here’s 7 reasons why


This is the flag of St George, the patron
saint of England. It’s fair to say it has a bit of a difficult reputation. For many centuries it was associated with
killing French, killing Welsh, and the Crusades. And today it’s often used by these guys. This is a shame, because if people knew the
real story of St George they’d realise this impression is about as wrong as you could
get. Firstly this is a man who sacrificed his life
for religious freedom. According to the story St George worked for
the Roman Emperor Diocletian,and when he started persecuting Christians, St.George made a stand.
Despite being offered gifts of land and money, George said, “No” and was tortured and
executed for it. Today we’d call him a human rights activist. Talking of torture, the man was hard as nails. According to the stories he was: lacerated on a wheel of swords;
forced to wear iron boots into which nails had been hammered;
beaten over the head with a hammer; given a burning-hot helmet to wear;
pieced with iron hooks; had molten lead poured into his mouth;
and put inside a bronze bull lined with nails and spun around.
Oh yeah, and then decapitated. In fact, according to one story, he was killed
three separate times before being resurrected again and again by the Archangel Michael so
he could undergo more torture, thus being extra holy. Cheers Michael. The man was totally modern England in his
multicultural background. His parents were from two different Roman
provinces, and despite being Greek, lived in modern day Turkey. His parents were from two different Roman
provinces, and were Greeks living in modern day Turkey. When his father died, Georgy too immigrated
to look for work, ending up as a soldier in the Emperor’s army. St George is totally multi-national. As well as England, he’s a patron state
of: Ethiopia,
Georgia, Greece,
Moldova Lithuania,
Malta Portugal,
Palestine, Russia and
Turkey. Not to mention a whole bunch of other places. St George is multi-religious! In the Middle East he’s often identified
as the Muslim figure Al-Khadr, and today his shrine in the West Bank, is still attended
by some Jews and Muslims. The man slayed a dragon. A dragon people.
A mother-f**king dragon. Okay the way he did was a bit weird. Because
apparently after rescuing some lady he insisted on using her girdle on the dragon as a kind
of leash, getting her to lead the dragon around before the actual killing took place… But still Scotland’s patron saint was a
fisherman and St Patrick was a shepherd who did a bit of baptising, and they both get
national holidays. And In Rio De Janeiro, St George’s day is
celebrated with street parties, flowers, songs, drums and fireworks. Yet we can’t even manage
a day off work. 7 St George was born abroad! Why is this a reason to celebrate him? well
because recruiting from abroad is the most English thing ever. There’s our Kings and Queens from France,
Holland, Germany… Our language – a fluid compound of German,
Greek, Roman and French. Our food; And not to mention, well, all of us: Beaker people from Germany, celts from France,
Romans; Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Danes, Normans, Flemish, Dutch, Africans, Lascars, Chinese,
Irish, French Huguenots, Indian & Bengali naval workers, Jews escaping persecution from
Russia and Europe, workers from the Caribbean and other former parts of Empire, Vietnamese,
Ugandans, Polish… I mean basically anyone who wasn’t here
before 6000 BC when the rising sea levels formed the island we now live on. This national genius for welcoming and stealing
ideas from abroad and adopting them as our own has always been part of what it is to
be English. It’s given us a national drink made from
a Far Eastern tree, sweetened with an ingredient from the West Indies; A national song about a city in the Middle
East; And a multi-national, immigrant, dragon-slaying
patron saint to be proud of.

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