Through all those years, Nationalists held the flag aloft, along with it's ideals of fairness, justice and Christian values. Now, as people turn back towards their traditions, and Councils are frightened of the huge progress of the BNP, you will find that more towns, villages and cities will be celebrating our national day.
In 1997, it was notable that Leicester had more publicity for a Sikh celebration on St. George's day than for our own.
This year, plans are afoot to celebrate our day in the city in a big way, though it remains to be seen whether it will be truly English, or if displays of bangra, and the waft of greasy curry will accompany St. George in the Market Place on Saturday -held on Saturday, of course, because that will pull the shoppers in.
Our banner this week shows St. George slaying the dragon; the flag of St. George; the rose of England.
The dragon represents evil, which must be opposed; St. George represents good and he, and all those who are under his banner, will oppose and vanquish evil.
The flag of St. George carries a red cross in honour of St. George who was born in Cappadocia, part of the Byzantine Empire at the time, to noble Roman parents; like his father he joined the Roman army, but was later tortured and murdered for standing up for his Christian beliefs. English soldiers heard many tales about George while on Crusade; while George most certainly was real, and the tales were mostly myth, they were impressed by George's principles and ideals and adopted him as their champion. Thus, he became our patron saint.
The Rose of England is not the modern hybrid which people mistakenly think is our national flower; it is said that the red and the white rose were chosen as emblems of the Lancastrians and Yorkists at the outset of the Wars of the Roses; these would more likely have been Rosa gallica, the Apothecary's rose which is a deep pink, and the white dog-rose.
When Henry V11 married Elizabeth of York he brought the warring factions of England together, and also created the Tudor rose, a combination of red and white. This is a symbol of the unity of the English peoples and that is why we have chosen it for our banner.