Let’s get out the flags to honour our St George

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The people of Emsworth can teach us a lot about the importance of showing a bit of patriotic pride.

Over the past few years the town’s St George’s Day celebrations have gone from strength to strength.

Now residents are planning to go one better by dedicating a whole week to England’s patron saint.

With a military parade, the promise of a rousing prom night and many more events, it’s clear that this will be a celebration to remember.

And isn’t that wonderful? Why shouldn’t we have a good old song and dance in St George’s honour?

The English are often accused of ignoring St George’s Day altogether, or marking it in a half-hearted way without the right amount of pomp or ceremony.

While the Irish, Scottish and Welsh all put up the bunting to celebrate their own saints’ days, we make excuses, as if drawing attention to this ancient tradition is in some way an embarrassment.

It’s a pity that we’ve allowed that kind of attitude to take hold because there’s nothing jingoistic about setting aside a day on the calendar to celebrate the pride we feel for our nation.

April 23 should be a joyous occasion, full of the things that make England great.

There’s no danger of appearing any less British by choosing to celebrate just one of this country’s four individual patron saints. It’s just a shame that good old St George gets less attention than Andrew, David and Patrick.

So perhaps we should look at what the people of Emsworth are organising a little more closely and consider their programme of events as a challenge.

The gauntlet has been thrown down – we’re sure that St George would approve. Can your town, village or community now respond with the same sort of enthusiastic vigour?

Put up the flags, bring out the bunting and arrange a get-together where you live.

It doesn’t have to be a grand affair, or last a whole week.

But by making more of an effort, we’re sure that we can turn the area red and white by flying St George’s Cross and showing we’re proud to be English.