The 23rd of April is St George’s Day. It is important to remember the patron saint of England, St George and to observe St George’s Day and to wear the red cross against the white background, which is proudly carried on our Australian National Flag as well as the Tasmanian Flag. There are always the constant attacks on our national flag and the demand for a new one as there is for a republic. Just recently of course we saw the sad passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, but it did show the out pouring of remorse world-wide over his death and the warmth that he was regarded His virtues was one of sacrifice and of service, before self. He had a vital career in the Royal Navy before he married Her Majesty, but he gave it all up for the Crown and for country. Those attributes we must reclaim. We live in a society which is now very much a “me “generation.
We all know of the story of St George and he is represented by the image of slaying the dragon. This is more than just a simple portrayal. It has a great symbolic message behind it. It is good overcoming evil. The Dragon of course is represented in the Holy Bible as Satan, the great deceiver and there is our George piecing the Dragon with his lance; good overcoming evil.
The Anglo-Saxon people have given the world so much good, not only in an array of invention, from the railway to television, the jet engine and much more, but in commerce, education and in the forefront of freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of action, freedom of thought backed up by English Common Law, together with the Magna Carta (which is still in force, regardless what is said), the 1688 Constitution and even our own Australian Constitution. Before the Magna Carta it was Alfred the Great (the only English king to be called Great) who brought in laws that were taken from Holy Scriptures and it was these laws which were the basis of our pending freedoms. The judiciary must be independent and free from all government interference.
Yet, these days we have seen our great heritage and institutions under constant threat. We have seen our basis rights abused by over bearing governments, often backed by the police. It has happening in all European countries and even in the traditional Anglo-Saxon countries, like Australia, New Zealand, the US and particularly in Canada, where the abuses I have seen I would not have thought would be possible a few years ago. Very few of our politicians make a murmur over it all.
So why is it happening? Simply, to bring in a new society. The old must be destroyed, because the old is simply in the way. Our traditions inherited here in Australia from the Mother Land must prevail. If they do not then we will live in a lesser world than what we knew and we will be passing on to our children a darker society.
England has given us so much and yes, she also made mistakes, but the symbol of St George overcoming evil is just as relevant today as it was so many centuries ago. If we are so bad as our heritage is now portrayed by the academics, the mainstream media and the political parties, then why do, (what is seems), the whole world want to live within our Anglo-Saxon countries? We must have done something right.
Not so long ago, we had a Royal Society of St George Society here in Hobart. It no longer exists. I can also recall some decades ago attending a dinner/dance with many attendants and over the subsequent years, attending other functions with myself holding St George’s Day church services at St George’s Church Battery Point followed by lunch at the Prince of Wales Hotel. All that has gone. It is important that the Royal Overseas League continues to herald and honour this important Day. On the 1st of March I attended a choral presentation for St David’s Day (the patron saint of Wales) at St David's Cathedral. It was a wonderful service and of course big celebrations always occur on St Patrick’s Day and then in November we have St Andrews Day. St George’s Day must not drop out of the calendar. I am reminded that the most beautiful magazine, This England, led a campaign in England to have a national holiday for St George’s Day proclaimed, but big business and the government did not warm to the idea; perhaps it would not be in keeping with the modern multicultural society of England, where everyone else can celebrate their national heritage but the English can’t.
Incidentally, St David’s Cathedral was named after David Collins. It was he who settled Hobart in 1804, another great achievement of our heritage. This is a rare honour, as Cathedrals are usually named after saints and in this case most believe after St David of Wales. Although the saint is honoured at the Cathedral, it was indeed named after David Collins who died in 1810 and is buried in St David’s Park also named, naturally, after him.
The Cross of St George is well known world-side. It is the National Flag of England; it is on the Union Flag of the United Kingdom, on our Australian National Flag, on our Tasmanian Flag and on other State flags, plus a number of provinces in Canada. It is also on The Hawaiian Flag, the National Flag of New Zealand and Fiji and many other national flags, including military ones, such as the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. Certainly St George has proven to be a significant historic figure. His cross also appears on the Greek Flag and the flag of Georgia. He is also the patron saint of Portugal, Moscow, Ethiopia, Lithuania, Palestine and Malta. So you see he and his cross is not only an English icon.
Knowing of the importance and significance of St George in our everyday life, it is important that his memory and his meaning remain alive in this modern era. It provides stability, goodness and points a way to the future.