Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy St George's Day!

Instead of just posting up their flag, I'll let English readers start the day with Laurence Olivier giving it his all for Harry, England and St George in Henry V ActIII, Scene 1:

Don't forget to fly your flag and ring those church bells;)

6 comments:

The Aberdonian said...

Happy St Georges Day to the English. I think I will have an English beer tonight to mark it. Pity Samual Smith's is so expensive.

However since you have Henry V up, I will remember also the Scots who fought against him, his predecessors and sucessors in France during the Hundred Years War to keep France free.

The Battle of Bauge - the first blow against Henry after Agincourt carried out by a mainly Scottish army. And later the Scottish battalions which marched under Joan of Arc.

wildgoose said...

Or for that matter, Sir Douglas Haig.

After the carnage of the Somme and Passchendaele, the sour joke in the British army went that Sir Douglas Haig was the greatest of all Scottish generals because he had killed the most Englishmen.Excerpt taken from an FT article yesterday.

Here's some more:

For a thousand years the British Isles were dominated politically, militarily and economically by the English; Celtic nationalism has been founded on resentment of that fact. But today the English have reason of their own for bitterness. Devolution is a gross injustice towards them – they make up, after all, four-fifths of the British population. English vexation is stimulated further by the preponderance of Scots in the present government and has been given a final twist by a financial implosion that looks almost like a Caledonian conspiracy.And:

Not long ago it was Scottish nationalists who demanded separation from England. On this St George’s Day, it is the English who might wonder whether they really want the Union any more.

O'Neill said...

Aberdonian,

"And later the Scottish battalions which marched under Joan of Arc."

That fact I didn't know!

Wildgoose,

Enjoy the day!

The Aberdonian said...

I read about it years ago. Here is an interesting site giving some of the story.

http://www.maidofheaven.com/joanofarc_scots.asp

I read somewhere that the bishop of Orleans during her victory there was an ex-pat Scot.

This "back any team against England" attitude goes a long way back :)

The Aberdonian said...

I found this site with pictures of some of the Hundred Year War memorials that have been put up.

http://www.alliance-france-ecosse.com/home.php?num_niv_1=1&num_niv_2=3

wildgoose said...

Aberdonian, Interesting Site. Although I did already know of the Scottish wrecking of the Union of England and France and the disinheriting of the Dauphin. It is interesting to speculate how history would have turned out if it succeeded, although I am inclined to think that on that matter Scotland probably unwittingly did England a favour!

O'Neill, Thanks. There are lots of pubs covered in the flag of St George and people standing outside them wrapped in the flag as well. One of my colleagues reckons that by setting up such a blatantly unfair and discriminatory Devolution Settlement that the Scots have done England another favour - they've unwittingly revitalised what was an otherwise dormant sense of Englishness. And who knows where that will eventually lead?