RSS

Playing patriot games…

23 Apr

image

This time of year, I’m always being told I should be patriotic, or being asked if I’m proud to be English.

Why?

Because it’s Saint George’s day, that’s why!

This is usually when the argument starts.

image

My problem is, which England am I supposed to be proud of?

Is it the country that jump started the Industrial Revolution, or the one that was infamous for decades of soccer hooliganism so prevalent that it was called “the English disease”.

Do we trumpet the pride we feel for the triumphant London Olympics, or hang our heads in shame for our involvement in the slave trade?

In a world where being a nationalist is synonymous with extremism, and every discussion on immigration risks you being labelled a racist, do we celebrate our multi ethnic society, or deplore the rise of far right groups like the BNP and EDL?

National pride, it seems, is a thorny issue.

Now, Saint George is a different problem altogether

The patriotic gentlemen that I generally have these arguments with, tend to say things like “You should be proud of your heritage and celebrate our Saint’s day like the Irish and Scots.”

Except, of course, he wasn’t English. Not even British.

He was Greek.

His mother was Palestinian.

And he served in the Roman Army, where at the behest of the Emperor Diocletian, he was executed for refusing to renounce christianity, and has been venerated as a Christian martyr ever since.

Known primarily as a military saint, he isn’t only patron of England, but also Iraq, Russia, Bulgaria, Rumania, Israel  and India, amongst others.

And he probably didn’t meet many dragons either.

image

So, am I proud to be English?

Well, that’s the trouble isn’t it?
I mean, I was born English, of English parents, in England, so I’m English by default, it’s not like I had the choice.
It’s like being proud of having blue eyes.
Or being tall.

I’m proud of some of the things I’ve done. I’m proud of what I have made of myself.
Because I did those things in England, does the country itself deserve some credit?

This is a genuine puzzle to me.
How do you determine national pride?

If anyone has any clue to this mysterious, ephemeral state of mind, please let me know how you establish whether or not you are proud of your national identity, because I am eager to know if I can calibrate my own pride index.

Oh, and how do you celebrate your patron saints’ day?

Advertisements
 
11 Comments

Posted by on April 23, 2013 in Blogging

 

Tags: , , ,

11 responses to “Playing patriot games…

  1. melanie jean juneau

    April 23, 2013 at 20:09

    our interview has 168 reads in 20 hours on Broowaha

     
    • dalecooper57

      April 23, 2013 at 21:29

      Ooh goodie. Only about thirty of them bothered to have a look at the blog so far though. Probably says more about you than me at this stage. Hahahaha.
      I’m very grateful for all you’ve done.

      …make that thirty one.

       
      • melanie jean juneau

        April 23, 2013 at 21:32

        it takes a while- they will come

         
      • dalecooper57

        April 23, 2013 at 21:58

        Okey-dokey. You’re the expert.
        ;~}

         
      • melanie jean juneau

        April 24, 2013 at 00:04

        hardly I have only been writing for i year and i month

         
  2. Helena Fortissima

    April 23, 2013 at 23:29

    Great post, Dale. I can’t say I’ve ever been overwhelmed with a sense of national pride; it feels too much like being in a club. I’ve never lived anywhere but the United States, and I’m happy here, so that’s a plus.

     
  3. nothingprofound

    April 24, 2013 at 00:52

    What can I say, Dale, but that I agree absolutely with all your points. Like Socrates, I’m a citizen of the world.

     
    • dalecooper57

      April 24, 2013 at 08:41

      Praise indeed NP, glad there are so many reasonable folks left.

       
  4. iancochrane

    April 24, 2013 at 02:03

    Yep, you got it Dale. Pride is not automatic, & flag-waving a worry.
    Cheers, ic

     
  5. LanthieLanthie Ransom

    April 24, 2013 at 07:26

    I’m English and not British – not sure what that makes me!
    Great post – must admit I had to look St George up – had no idea there was such a thing as St George’s Day or National Saint’s Day – but then it is not celebrated in South Africa so it woldn’t mean much to me.
    With regards to being patriotic – yeah, I’m afraid it’s not a matter of what I can do for my country but what my country can do for me – then I will entertain the thought of patriotism.

     
  6. tonyberkman

    April 24, 2013 at 19:47

    Reblogged this on 1,2,3 do.

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
stripSearchLA

Stories about Los Angeles and its people.

FLOW ART STATION

THE ENLIGHTENED ART MAGAZINE

cmsaunders

The online presence of dark fiction writer C.M. Saunders

Timeandreflections

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect"

Little Fears

Flash fiction tales of humor, horror and whimsy

JOHNNY SPANGLES THE PILE

The random thoughts of a very troublesome haemorrhoid on travel, art, sport, bad dogs, good cats and other fake news...

The Lessons

that time forgot to teach

SOZ SATIRE

The Best of British Bullshit

Step-Parent's Sanctuary

The Stories Behind those (not so) Perfect Family Photos

Ellenbest24

words and scribble.

sloppybuddhist

hedy bach photography mixed stories and music

Isabella Morgan

Opinions not otherwise specified

A Life in Transition

Poetry & Fiction

The Bee Writes...

.... don't expect anything...not even the unexpected...

Author Kyle Perkins

The latest and greatest of my documented daydreams

Luca Sartoni

Protector of Asynchronicity at Automattic

Pages That Rustle

The journey from words to stories.

trickyemotions

For your mind only!

Waruni Anuruddhika

Film and photography

An Artist's Path

A space for creative seekers.

3nions

Learn WordPress & SEO from the beginning...

Tyler Charles Austen

Foul mouthed, Queer and Angry

balloonfacetrace

The facepainting and balloon twisting lady

Jamaica Ponder

...only a little bit famous

Art by Rob Goldstein

There is no common truth

Kristin King Author

True Story...

thegirlwhofearoblivion

To Share, To Connect, To Create, To Inspire.

unbolt me

the literary asylum

swo8

Music means something

Broken Castles

Shattered long ago...

Joshi Daniel Photography

Images of People Photoblog

iamthemilk

Every day I'm jugglin'.

The Write Project

"The answer is to write." - Richard Rhodes

b e t u n a d a

I'm interested in THE GLUE BETWEEN THINGS. "Back on planet URTH" i search for and study desert wombats and inukThingies (they're like inukshuks) while rambling in the high desert of western Colorawdough.

Seabornen

enthusiast photography

bizchair.wordpress.com/

Stop Yearning, Start Earning

%d bloggers like this: