Friday, May 28, 2010


Every so often some academic (or foreigner) comes along and points out that the patron saint of England was neither English, nor ever been here and that we should get rid of him. They normally don't do it for St Patrick (Welshman, though he did end up in Ireland) or St Andrew (Jewish) mostly because they know the reaction they'll get.

Step forward Dr Markus Eichhorn.

Dragon-slaying martyr St George should be replaced as a symbol of England, university academics have said.

With national identity in sharp focus leading up to the World Cup, experts at the University of Nottingham have come up with a new idea.
They believe the English oak would be a far better symbol.
"St George is a peculiar symbol," says Dr Markus Eichhorn, from the University's school of biology.
"He was Turkish, he never visited this country and he has no particular associations with England."
He added: "What better symbol of England than the oak which has been a key element of the country's culture, geography and economy for thousands of years?"
Dr Eichhorn suggests May 29th as a potential date for a new English national day, replacing St George's Day on April 23rd.
Already known as Oak Apple Day or Royal Oak Day, it marks the day Charles II hid from the rebel forces in an oak tree after the battle of Worcester in 1651.
When the monarchy was restored in 1660 he decreed the date should be celebrated and that trees should be dressed as part of the festivities.
So not only not English, not only never lived here, but replace him with a tree too. This sort of thing comes around every year, though I do feel that Royal Oak day should have significance in a restored England, however a saint it is not, merely a symbol of the escape of Charles II and the restored monarchy. No, it's not where St George comes from that makes him significant to the English, it's what he represents, the patron saint of soldiers of being prepared to stand up to evil and wrongness, to defend the innocent, to do what is right no matter the odds against you. That is why St George was chosen, not because of where he came from, but what he represents. There are saints aplenty born in this land, but few who represent anything other than martyrdom and were in the past not wholly of England. Alfred the Great being one, a great man yes, but only king of Wessex, though oddly enough his reign started on 23 April 871 St Georges day.
I doubt anything will be done anyway, Dr Markus Eichhorn is simply headline grabbing, the English aren't about to change their Patron Saint, nor their flag, especially not these days when we feel under siege by the politically correct "Righteous" British. The popularity of St George and his day will continue to grow in England whether he was one of us or not simply because it is opposed by the "Righteous" in local councils and national government who hate the English and what we represent and wish we were regional and British.
So the more headlines like this that come up, the more the English dig their heels in, 14 years ago you hardly ever saw an English flag, now they're everywhere and not just for the football. St George's day parades were few and far between, now they're springing up all over the country. The English are slowly but surely waking up from the deadening, numbing hand of Britishness and finding new strength from old symbols and the "Righteous" hate this, which makes it all the more worth doing.

11 annotations:

Anonymous said...

we think it's a piss take, eichhorn bedeutet squirrel auf deutch

Mrs Rigby said...

This is all getting very silly. How much did he get paid for this research? Is he really a druid?

James Higham said...

The oak - beloved of the Druids.

Macheath said...

Anon - you beat me to it, although I'd add that the German for oak is 'Eiche'(f).

Macheath said...

Well, what do you know? - he's real:

University of Nottingham Staff Listing
Markus Eichhorn
Lecturer in Ecology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

So not only does he have a great name for a tree expert, he's got a good nose for a publicity opportunity too.

Anonymous said...

Charles the 11 and the restored monarchy?
What was that to England?.
He was half French, part Scots, Danish and came from a usurping Welsh dynasty.
We have been selling our Englishness down the pan since the last English king was betrayed and murdered in 1485.
Bought out by French gold, led by a usurper from the celtic fringe - with no legal claim to the English throne - leading a pack of European mercenaries, aided and abetted by the some of the upper classes. Treachery and treason. He died crying 'treason'.
What has changed in 500 years. Seems familiar to me.
I have been told that our real royal family would be the De Lisles of Penshurst.
Actually English, descendents of the last king's sister and much more to my taste. Thanks.
That we suffer foreign occupation of our English throne is a symbol of our servitude.
Oliver CRomwell is regarded as a our greatest Englishman. Why?

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

Why can't we celebrate Trafalgar Day?

Quiet_Man said...

Technically Trafalgar Day was a British victory as it was after the Act of Union.

Trooper Thompson said...

"We have been selling our Englishness down the pan since the last English king was betrayed and murdered in 1485."

Methinks you should save your lamentations for a more worthy object. Need I remind you this 'last English king' murdered his nephew (the rightful king Edward V) and seized the throne for himself.

But worry not. With the accession of James I, the heir of the long-deposed Anglo-Saxon line came to the throne.

Trooper Thompson said...

Just another point:

My idea is a 'Robin Hood Day' some time in the summer. Get yer longbows dusted off, fellas, there's a taxman to hunt.

Matt said...

Dr Eichhorn's suggestion that St George is "a peculiar national symbol" and has "no particular associations with England" , is incorrect. In fact Charles II's Restoration was completed on England's National Day - St. George's Day, at his English Coronation in 1661!

There are many traditional days of celebration in the English Calender - Royal Oak Day is one of them. Check out the 'Royal Oak Day' website!