There is no better sight than than driving or walking around your town seeing your country’s flag hanging from most windows, flapping along on cars or raised high across shop fronts, government buildings or being draped across the children when they are out and about. This is something to behold; a nation proud of its identity & unashamedly boasting about its place place in the world.
In America, you’ll find their flag hung up in classrooms and outside schools, a reminder of where people are and what values they and visitors need to uphold. In Australia, the flag also prominent in nearly all places that you go. Again, a country that is proud of itself and where the people too, do not care what others think about its patriotism. This is a theme repeated in many countries across the world. Except for England.
England is currently awash with patriotism, everyone suddenly remembering where they live and displaying their St.George’s cross like it is something they do all year round. But they don’t. Come the 16th July, once the World Cup is over, the flags will be packed away for another 2 years ready to come out during Euro 2020. Sadly, a month is the most you’ll get out of these people. The only other time would be marches by the “far right”.
For some people of course, they fly the flag all year round, are proud to say that they are English and do not care what others think. They get sneered at, called ‘Gammon’ or hooligans and they get looked down upon, like they should be ashamed. Flying the English flag is looked on as ‘common’ and that they probably drive a white van or do the jobs people stick their noses up at, like mechanics, builders or any other manual labour. The very sort of people that are called upon the same people that cringe at seeing an England flag.
How can we get past this? Firstly, by getting everyone to keep their flags up all year round. It is not a crime to have a flag up. It wouldn’t hurt the residents of Birmingham or Bradford to see a few England flags up as when you’re visiting, you would be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere else in the world.
A recent BBC poll showed that only 45% of English people aged 18-24 are proud of their heritage. A marked difference from the 72% of over 65’s. As expected however, this cannot be taken too seriously as a number of those asked would have been unlikely to be ethnically English in the first place. 20% of those asked believed they were English having live here for 10 years. Telling also is that the further away from London this question is asked, the higher the % is of those that are proud.
If you know a temporary patriot, tell them to keep it up, resist the urge to hide it away like it is some embarrassing eyesore and be proud of it. The more that do, the greater the chance people will start taking some pride in the country they come from. And if someone tells you to take it down because it offends them, ask to borrow to their phone, go to the ‘Maps” app and find them the quickest route to the nearest airport because if they do not like it, there are many other countries they can choose from.
Nationalism and patriotism does not need to only apply for sporting events and Tommy Robinson marches.