Would St George have been a Brexit ‘remoaner’?
Nottingham boasts one of the biggest St George’s Day celebrations in England, with knights in armour, Robin Hood and civic dignitaries joining in the festivities.
Since 1222 AD, the 23rd of April has been St George’s Day. He has also been the Patron Saint of England since Edward III’s reign in 1348 AD. In Medieval England, St George was supposed to symbolise all that was good and noble and English, but today most of us only know a vague story about him supposedly killing a dragon.
The character we celebrate as the essence of Englishness was in fact either Turkish or Syrian. He was an early 4th century Roman soldier, martyred for his Christian faith, who then became a Christian icon of nobility and sacrifice. The slaying of the dragon goes back to a legend from either Beirut or Libya, the dragon usually taken to symbolise injustice and/or evil. Perhaps an unlikely middle-eastern character to have become a symbol of Englishness a thousand years after his death.
Particularly so, as what could be called the latest manifestation of Englishness, Brexit, has the control of immigration as a key factor. If St George was alive today and living in England, he would probably have voted ‘Remain’, being Turkish or Syrian. But in the city of Robin Hood, let’s not allow historical fact to get in the way of a cracking good legend!
PS – no References have been quoted for this story, as this information is so widely available in books and on the internet.