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Celebrate England on St. George’s Day

St. George's Day is a time to fly the flag.

St. George’s Day is celebrated on April 23.

Are you familiar with St. George’s Day?  As the website http://www.st.georgesday.com points out, the Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the Scottish have St. Andrew’s Day.  All English people should come together on April 23 to celebrate England’s own patron saint.  Traditionally one flies the St. George flag and wears a red lapel rose.

The history of St. George’s Day is a long one.  The Council of Oxford declared April 23 to be the day of recognition in 1222.  In 1348 St. George became the Patron Saint of England and the protector of the royal family.  In 1552, during the English Reformation, banners for all saints, except Saint George, were banned.  The April 23 holiday remembering St. George’s death, was a major one, on a par with Christmas, until the 18th century when England and Scotland united.  Recently many societies, including the English Heritage and the Royal Society of St. George, are working to reinstate the major holiday.

Who Do We Celebrate on St. George’s Day?

Saint George was a Roman soldier.  He was put to death in AD 303 for refusing to recant his Christian faith.  He was especially venerated as a Christian martyr by the Crusaders.  In medieval romance stories, St. George slew a dragon with a lance called Ascalon.  Interestingly, centuries later Winston Churchill used the name Ascalon for his personal aircraft during World War II.  He is often depicted seated upon a white horse, slaying a dragon.  

George is regarded as a protective saint.  His cross forms the national flag of England and is featured on the union flag of the United Kingdom.  

One of our favorite local places to hoist a pint in honor of St. George is the Fox and Parrot Tavern located on Glades Road.  Perhaps we will see you there!