St George’s Day is one of those strange occasions where everyone seems to be proud to be English. The English flag is hoisted above Number 10, flags are waved, and racist idiots rant more and more about how England should just be for the English. I’ve never really got the point though.
For one thing, we are by no means special. Other countries who share the patronage includes Georgia, Egypt, Russia, Bulgaria, Iraq, India, Romania, Greece, Portugal, and Ukraine. Then there’s dozens of cities, professions, and disease sufferers.
There’s also the fact that he wasn’t even English, but was Greek and eventually became an officer in the Roman Army. The famous story of him slaying the dragon was set in Libya, and it’s likely that he didn’t even come to England.
He does hold some importance as a saint though. He is one of the most important military saints, and is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, his patronage being for the health of domestic animals.
So if you’re one of those people who find St George’s Day to be a day of English patriotism, try and bare in mind that a) he wasn’t English, b) likely never actually came here, c) is patron saint to a good portion of the immigrants you likely don’t want living here too, and d) is more helpful to your cat than to you.
On that note, Happy Saint George’s Day!