Inter-faith group wants to “reclaim” St George’s Day

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

I got a call from BBC Radio Shropshire yesterday asking me to go on the radio this morning and talk about St George’s Day – I was more than happy to of course.

Other than being St George’s Day, the motivation behind the debate they were having was a press release put out yesterday by an inter-faith group that wants to “reclaim St George’s Day”.  Here’s their press release:

Time to reclaim St George’s Day for all English

St George should be a figure of national unity and pride. That’s why we, a coalition of English faith groups and campaigners, are reclaiming England’s patron saint and demanding he becomes representative of all English peoples.

We demand him back from those who promote racism and extremism, and from those who say that St George can only represent a single ethnic group.

We want to promote a new, relaxed and confident, English national identity. A place where a hijab is as welcome as bangers and mash, and no-one is attacked for their race, religion (or lack thereof) or any other belief.

That is why this St George’s Day we are reclaiming St George.

As patron saint for England, St George is there for everyone living in England. Too often he has been hijacked and used as a symbol of triumphalism and division by those on the extreme Right. St George needs to take his rightful place as a national symbol of inclusivity rather than a symbol of hatred.

Although the English national flag, bearing the Cross of St George, was carried by the Crusaders, St George actually lived before the birth of Islam and should not be associated with any hatred of Muslims. He is respected by many people in the Middle East because of his origins there.

Therefore on St George’s Day, we call upon all people of goodwill to join us in:
• standing up against the hijacking of a national hero by those who promote Islamophobia, antisemitism and other forms of discrimination
• opposing the modern dragons of hatred and intolerance
• saying: As the diverse people of England, we are comfortable with difference, and each other. St George’s Day is a time for highlighting harmony and peaceful national pride.


Al-Khoei Foundation
Baptist Union of Great Britain
Christian Muslim Forum
City Sikhs Network
Faith Matters
HOPE not hate
Islamic Society of Britain
Joseph Interfaith Foundation
London Baptist Association
London Boroughs Faith Network
Majlis-e-Ulama Europe
Muslim Council of Britain
Radical Middle Way
Religions for Peace UK
St Philip’s Centre
Three Faiths Forum (3FF)
Woman’s Voice

Firstly I have to say I’m pleased this inter-faith group have taken an interest in St George’s Day – it’s a day for all the people of England, not just white, Christian Anglo-Saxon’s (not that there are many of those left here after a thousand years or so).  I’m not much happier for religious groups to try to take ownership of St George’s Day than I am with the likes of the EDL or English Democrats though.  I know saint’s are, by their very nature, a religious thing but unless you’re in one of the more orthodox countries a patron saint’s day is a civic occasion more than a religious one.

I’m also not happy with the way the group tries to claim that St George’s Day is associated with the “far right”, racists and other -ists.  The only undesirable groups that habitually use the English flag are the English Democrats and the English Defence League, neither of which are any more representative of the English people than Abu Hamza or Amjid Choudhary are of the Muslim population.  The traditional peddlers of intolerance and prejudice are the British National Party and the National Front, both of which use the British flag and don’t even claim to be English groups.  They are both active in all four member states of the UK.

At the weekend the Stone Cross St George’s Day parade attracted over 15,000 people and there wasn’t a preacher of hate to be seen, just thousands of English people of all nationalities, colours and religions getting together to celebrate their country’s national day.  Similar events were held all over the country and I’ve seen no reports of trouble at any of them in the news so where are these racists and “far right” groups that have supposedly taken ownership of St George’s Day?  They simply don’t exist.

I wholeheartedly support the objective of this inter-faith group to celebrate St George’s Day properly and to use it as a way of bringing together all the people of England but I wish they wouldn’t resort to such lazy attention seeking phrases like “reclaiming [insert English symbol here] from the far right” because it just devalues their argument.


  1. Quiet_Man (2 comments) says:

    There’s nothing far right or far anything about the EDL, they have members of all religions, colours and nationalities. They simply oppose shariah law and the implementation of islamisation in the UK by the UK government.

  2. Geoff, England (22 comments) says:

    That “far-right” guff just gets right on my nerves. It’s mainly a reference to the BNP, a party whose program is one of state ownership and control of the infrastructure, similar to one espoused by Labour in the 1970s. In other words, they are statists, socialists, left-wingers. Right-wingers believe in private enterprise and small government.

  3. William Gruff (138 comments) says:

    The term ‘right wing’ is meaningless; it is simply a label stuck on anyone who opposes those who identify themselves as ‘left wing’, regardless of the opponent’s opinions.

  4. Bob Anglorum (86 comments) says:

    In my world wings are for bird brains, and if we allow the left wing to flap or the right wing to flap, we just go around in circles. The “left wing” or socialists as we know them, or Talmudists and their “useful idiots”, as we should know them. Are dangerous extremists who have manipulated wars and revolutions for centuries. They are the greatest mass murderers known to human history. Do we want these people, these extremists, to fly the glorious flag of our nation, the nation which they despise and are working towards destroying. NO! NO! NO!
    Saint George was not English, he was never chosen as a Saint based upon his nationality, but upon his actions, his courage and his sacrifice. He was an early Christian who defied the might of the Roman Empire. So how can an Europhile, a Euromaniac ever be allowed to “reclaim” our flag for them? He was Christian, so how can other religions be allowed to “reclaim” our flag for them? Saint George is the inspiration for a free Christian England. He has also inspired other countries to admire his courage. And those who want to hijack and pervert our flag for any political reason should be told to get stuffed. If you track back any of those suposed organisations wanting to “reclaim” our flag, I can almost guarantee all roads will lead to the fascist organisation called the Fabian Society, who are the keepers of the Talmud in England. The useful idiots who want to destroy the Goyim for their masters. Their masters have an agenda to rule all nations and all races based upon ancient biblical myths. “Multiculturalism” is their path towards the destroying of our country, if we accept the Saint George flag as a “multicultural” symbol, we are accepting our own destruction and placing upon a plate a means for a future evil tyranny that holds no respect for any other race or beliefe but its own. The future agenda is a master belief, a master race, a world government, a new world order. By stopping other peoples and religions from “reclaiming” our Christian national flag, we are doing them a great service, we are protecting them. Only by protecting many nations and many beliefs can we stop the future evil which awaits us all if we fall into the trap. The master race is pulling socialist strings for its own benefit, most socialists are too stupid to see it.

  5. Wyrdtimes (31 comments) says:

    Agree with your sentiments Wonko – did you manage to get your points across on the radio?

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