St George’s Flag to fly at Shire Hall and Fen MP says ‘let’s fly the Union Flag’ for Queen’s Jubilee

THE St George’s Flag will fly outside Shire Hall, Cambridge, when the county council joins in celebrations for our Patron Saint’s day.

Cambridgeshire County Council chairman John Powley prepared the flag this week ready to raise and said: “I am delighted to help expand the awareness of St George’s Day and promote English heritage and patriotism.

“April 23 (St George’s Day) should be a day when all English people come together to celebrate our great nation.”

In 1222 the Council of Oxford declared April 23 to be St George’s Day, but it was not until 1348 that St George became the Patron Saint of England. St George’s Day was declared a national feast day and holiday in England in 1415.

However, after the union with Scotland at the end of the 18th century, the tradition diminished and since has not been widely acknowledged and is no longer a national holiday.

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St George was born to Christian parents in AD270 in Cappadocia, now Eastern Turkey.

He moved to Palestine with his mother and became a Roman soldier, rising to the high rank of Tribunus Militum. However, he later resigned his military post and protested against his pagan leader, the Emperor Diocletian (AD245-313), who led Rome’s persecution of Christians.

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His rebellion against the Emperor resulted in his imprisonment, but even after torture he stayed true to his faith.

However, the enraged Diocletian had St George dragged through the streets of Nicomedia, Turkey, on April 23 in AD303 and had him beheaded.

The flag raising comes in the same week that patriotic MP John Hayes called on all councils, companies and households to fly the Union Flag throughout 2012 as a tribute to the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee year.

Mr Hayes - MP for South Holland and the Deepings - has already received an enthusiastic reply from both South Holland District Council and Lincolnshire County Council.

He said: “I was delighted to hear that our majestic flag will be flown by our local authorities and I encourage everyone, from families to businesses, to follow this example and champion the Union flag as a symbol of our national pride.”

The MP says the flag should be displayed “boldly, prominently and proudly” and he hopes every school will also fly the flag.

He added: “There is no better representative of this great nation than Queen Elizabeth II. Our monarch is emblematic of the best of Britain. Our Queen is simply wonderful.”

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