Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

'Celebrate Englishness more' call

The English would like to see St George's Day celebrated more - despite most not knowing when it is, a new poll has found

The English would like to see St George's Day celebrated more - despite most not knowing when it is, a new poll has found.

Only 40% of those asked were aware the patron saint's day is celebrated on April 23, compared with 70% who said they knew US Independence Day was on July 4. T wo-thirds (66%) said St Patrick's Day on March 17 is now more widely celebrated in Britain.

But the online survey by ICM of 2,360 British adults, including 1,739 respondents in England, found that three-quarters (76%) would like to see that change.

Fewer than one in three (29%) thought it was because the English don't care, with f our in 10 (41%) claiming a lack of a Bank Holiday for St George's Day hampered celebrations.

There was also a majority (61%) who said they would like to see the English flag flown more across the country.

The research comes ahead of a Festival of Englishness celebrating the nation's culture and heritage in London tomorrow.

Sunder Katwala, director of co-organiser British Future, said: "Why shouldn't we be able to celebrate Englishness?

"We're all happy to come together as a nation when there's football or cricket on, so why keep the flags in the drawer for the rest of the year?

"It's a bit baffling that people in England will happily enjoy a pint of Guinness on St Patrick's Day but then get nervous about celebrating St George's Day too.

"We need to get over it and celebrate Englishness more."

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