Deliverance Day minus 14. Happy Saint George’s Day. Today we celebrate the feast day of Saint George the martyr knight and patron saint of England. He reputedly refused to deny his belief in Jesus Christ before the Emperor Diocletian who is represented by the dragon in depictions. He was executed for standing by his belief and one of the earliest depictions of this legend is on a Roman tombstone at Conisborough near Doncaster in South Yorkshire. The earliest know writings about the Saint are in eighth century Anglo-Saxon and churches were dedicated to him before the Norman Conquest, one in Doncaster 1061. But it was the crusades that popularised him in this Country. He was seen together with Saint Demetrius to be assisting the Franks at the Battle of Antioch in 1098. The red cross on a white background was introduced at the time of Richard the Lionheart and became the uniform of English soldiers and sailors, and remains as the white ensign of the Royal Navy.
In his homeland the legend goes back to before the fifth century and churches were dedicated to him in the fourth century. As with most legends that started as oral transmissions there will be an element of truth. It is accepted that Saint George was a real person; all the Catholic Church said was that he is included among those saints “whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose actions are only known to God”. Refer to the Catholic encyclopaedia.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has championed public celebration of the Saint’s feast day in London and is proposing that it becomes a public holiday in England. Good for him, it use to be a holy day of obligation in the Catholic church. He and David Cameron took part in the celebration and it appears that they have endorsed fish and chips as the meal of choice for the Day. Although some might ask why not roast-beef, especially the French. The BBC seem to be embarrassed about the whole idea as they resolutely refuse to refer to the National Day in any reports or on their website.
There is a widespread feeling that the Flag of Saint George should be reclaimed from the British National Party. It was noticeable that Boris and David were wearing red roses in their lapels. The red rose has been the emblem of the Labour Party who now might want to reclaim it from the Conservative Party.