I didn’t have my camera with me when admiring the flag of St George flying above the Civic Offices this afternoon, but the picture to the right reflects the same sunny background that is lighting up the national day in Sutton today.
St George’s Day has been lost somewhere along the way. St Patrick’s Day is celebrated more in many parts. It was disconcerting to see the flag hijacked by the British National Party whilst surfing for a picture to accompany this article. Even the many football fans who fly the flag see it as a tribal symbol of a game that in all reality has lost the club versus country debate some years ago anyway.
I’m off to a celebration dinner in Sutton this evening. Nothing to do with the Lib Dem Council who have restricted the marking of the day with a small event in Worcester Park Library. I’ll leave you with a message from the Mayor of London, Boris:-
“Right now, without thinking, can you say what day it is today? For the (I suspect) sizeable majority who said Thursday, feeling rather smug at their mental sharpness, I am sad to say you are wrong. Well, not technically. Today is indeed Thursday. But the real point missed, is that it is St George’s Day.
“Living in such a vibrant, cosmopolitan city you end up celebrating all manner of national and religious days. Some you celebrate as heartily as those to whom they apply. St Patrick’s day is an obvious one, where every pub in the land is decked out in green.
“But St George’s Day is still without fanfare, either forgotten or tucked away in a cupboard somewhere. This year, I want London to wholeheartedly celebrate. That is why the flag of St George will fly above City Hall today. I will be getting on a Routemaster bus and going across the river to the famous Leadenhall Market to join traders and Londoners in celebration.
“Last weekend, the Globe Theatre held a celebration event to mark Shakespeare’s birthday. This weekend, there will be an English music festival in Trafalgar Square.
“St George’s Day has been ignored in London for too long. We have much to be proud of in this great country. England has given so much to the world, politically, socially and artistically. There are many who feel that London is not just the capital of the United Kingdom, but also the capital of England.
“So I am calling on all Londoners to don silly hats, step out into the sunshine and celebrate England’s great patron saint.
“Let me know what you think by commenting on the Blue Blog. It would be great to hear from you.”