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St George’s Day, Cromwell, the English flag & Bank Holidays

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2017 by kmflett

St George’s Day, celebrated on 23rd April, has a very mixed place in British history.

From the time of the crusades until the 17th century, the celebration of St George’s Day was a popular tradition in most periods. The Reformation caused some issues but the day was still marked until in 1645 the Long Parliament banned it. It re-appeared in 1660 with the Restoration.

Cromwell obviously was not keen, to put it mildly, on celebrating any Saints Days. Yet he was keen to appropriate the St George’s ‘cross’ flag known to this day as the English flag. The cross or ‘bloody cross’ was held to represent the Crusades and in Cromwell’s usage his imperial adventures (and massacres) in Scotland and Ireland.

Labour has suggested that St George’s Day, and other Saints Days should be a national holiday. Irrespective of where you stand on the above, why not? Britain has few public holidays and given the chronically low productivity rate its difficult to see that more would do any harm.

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One Response to “St George’s Day, Cromwell, the English flag & Bank Holidays”

  1. […] St George’s Day has not always been very common in England. Indeed, Keith Flett informs us that its celebration was popular until the Reformation, but it was still marked. Under the […]

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