torsdag 24 april 2008

St George's Day


England flag at Fan Fest Berlin, originally uploaded by WorldCupBlog.org.

With the increase in Scottish and Welsh autonomy, it is inevitable that there will be stronger assertions of English identity, manifested, for instance, in the flying of the flag. I have difficulties with this. I was not born in England but in Scotland, and spent some of my formative years there. I have no English ancestry. Not being interested in spectator sports, I do not identify with English nationalism as it is exhibited by football fans and the like. I don't feel it is anything whatsoever to do with me. It leaves me feeling negative. It is unfortunate too, that English emblems have been hijacked by the political right.

There are many values I regard as British that I feel able to take a pride in, but I have never thought of these as peculiarly English. Whether the best of English values can be reclaimed remains to be seen but the task has to be done if many of the country's inhabitants are not to feel excluded, and, indeed, foreign. If I am going to be a foreigner, there are better places to do it than England, and the sight of all these flags is one of the things has makes me feel footloose.


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