Raise a tea cup to patron saint of indifference

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We all know the myth surrounding our patron saint, St George.

Not the Royal tot I hasten to add. Though you’d be excused for thinking so, giving the recent media coverage of the Prince.

No, I’m talking about the princess-saving, dragon-sleighing knight who represents our country.

The one whose image and name adorns many a public house.

But did you know good old St George is believed to have been a Roman soldier, most likely executed for protesting against the torture of Christians?

And had you heard the myths he survived being boiled alive, poisoned and crushed between spikes before finally being beheaded?

More over, did you know we celebrated the day of our brave non-British hero this week?

According to the latest research, two thirds of us did not know St George’s Day falls on April 23.

And I’m afraid yours truly added to that statistic.

In fact, if it hadn’t been for a quick look at Twitter, and noticing the Google doodle had changed to an eerie illustration of George and the dragon, this year’s event would have passed me by unnoticed. And not for the first time.

So why do we English forget about our patron Saint? After all, we’re more than happy to raise a pint of Guinness to St Patrick on March 17, and don daffodils for St David on March 1. Heck, I’ve even been known to celebrate American Independence Day with a hotdog, tub of popcorn and a Bud Light.

But when it comes to our own country, many of us are decidedly uninterested. Perhaps it’s because, unlike the Irish, we don’t mark the day with a public holiday.

Despite calls, petitions and such like to have this reinstated (it was marked a public holiday back in the 18th century) it doesn’t look likely anytime soon. Though our PM did, this year, call for more of a celebration. While we worked, naturally.

Raising St George’s flag above Downing Street, and urging others to do the same, Mr Cameron said that too long had the day been overlooked. He went on to claim more and more people are coming together to celebrate ‘everything it is to be English’.

(I feel a Love Actually moment coming on... ‘We may not be a big country, but we’re a great one...’)

Too little too late for this Brit I’m afraid. But I’ll bear it in mind for next year. Fish and chips and a cup of tea in the office perhaps...