St George was Johnny Foreigner – so he’s the perfect saint for the English

What has a bloke on a horse with a ruddy big lance got to do with modern England? Isn’t that crusader suit a bit inappropriate these days? And aren’t fire-breathing dragons an endangered species?

The story of Saint George and the dragon has long seemed like a barmy old myth, way out of kilter with the nation that our patron saint is meant to represent. But I have a confession to make, on his feast day. Tonight, for the first time in my life, I will raise a glass of local ale to Saint George.

Not because I’ve fallen for the far right’s lies. Quite the opposite. It’s because if we don’t rethink and reimagine the emblems of our nationhood, and celebrate what they say about us, then the far right will.

And the thing about old George is that after years, even centuries of irrelevance, he suddenly looks like a saint worth having. It’s not that he has changed; rather, it’s that we have. The English are beginning to look just like him. Continue reading “St George was Johnny Foreigner – so he’s the perfect saint for the English”