One Flag, No Day
Back, as I am, in Britain, I find that the country has been consumed by patriotism, something that of late has been taxing the British people. Gordon Brown, the current Chancellor of the Exchequer, and putative heir to Tony Blair's job at Number 10 Downing Street, recently suggested
that the Brits should have their own national day. The Scots had theirs (St. Andrew's Day, 30 November), the Welsh theirs (St. David's Day, March 1), the Irish, the northeast corner of whose island remains under British sovereignty, theirs (St. Patrick's Day, March 17), and the English theirs (St. George, April 23). But there was no British day, reasoned the very Scottish Brown, when Britons could celebrate being British.
The BBC joined in on the act and asked people which day they thought would be good: D-Day (June 6), or Winston Churchill's birthday (30 November), or VE Day (May 8) were suggested, but the day the Magna Carta was signed (June 15) came out top
. This was, however, seen by everyone else in the British isles as a quintessentially English thing, since it was an English king and English nobles who agreed to sign the limitation of sovereign power. One might also point out that the Welsh and Scots were busy being beaten up by the English at the time. And so the conversation ground to a halt.
Meanwhile, the English are becoming obsessed with the soon-to-begin World Cup soccer tournament. English flags are waving from numerous cars and public and private building. In fact, supplies are so low that people are going to have to order more. From China.