What it means to be English

You may or may not know that the 23rd of April is St Georges day. Sadly, you also may or may not realise that St George is the patron saint of England.

These days, there is much debate around whether we are regarded as racist if we are proud to be English. I don’t think we are, I’ve never met anyone who regarded me as racist just because I’m proud of the country that I was born in.

And that is why my children are being raised knowing that they are English, and that this is something to be proud of.

My husband is Welsh, but I am English. My children were born in England so they are English through and through.

I accept that they should also be educated about their Welsh heritage, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that they are English.

So, what does this mean for my children as they grow up?

It means that they live in a multi-cultural society, where everyone is a valued citizen regardless of their race, belief structure or where they come from.

It means that they have freedom of speech and that as females, they can do anything they want to do, because gender equality is important.

It means that they will receive a good quality, free education until the age of 18.

It means that should they fall ill they will receive healthcare, whatever form our NHS takes in the future.

It means that when there is a rugby match on, they will wear a red rose on their shirt and passionately support the people who are representing our country on the rugby pitch.

It means that they have the opportunity to represent our country themselves, in more disciplines than I could ever begin to list.

It means that they live in a beautiful part of a spectacular country.

It means that their capital city is one of the most exciting, vibrant and impressive cities in the world.


It means that their head of state is a member of a well respected Royal family, and they are governed by democratically elected members of parliament.

It means that as they get older, they will have the freedom to travel to anywhere that they want to go and will be permitted, with the right paperwork in place, to see the world and even live and work abroad if they choose to.

It means that they have role models from all walks of life who are paving the way for their future. There are successful business people, champions for the rights and needs of humans, animals and our planet. And there are good citizens, volunteers giving back to their communities and demonstrating how we should all be living.

It means that they will be taught that society owes them nothing, and that they are the ones who have a valuable contribution to make.

It means that they will learn how their actions impact upon others, for good or for bad. And they will learn all this unhampered by restrictions on their thoughts, views and rights of expression as long as they are not hurting anyone else.

I don’t want to get into the debate about whether St George’s day should be a bank holiday. But English people should all be aware of it and celebrate it.

Because St George is the patron saint of a country that always has been, and always will be, home to a great nation.



  1. Debbie
    April 26, 2015 / 6:06 am

    Hi Natalie, I don’t see anything wrong with celebrating St. Georges Day. I still remember taking part in the St. Georges Day march in Exeter (more than once), which ended up with a service at Exeter Cathedral. I would like to think that still happens.

    Traveling on a British passport is sheer bliss compared to some passports. My husband has a South African passport, which is nothing but trouble to travel on especially when we want to visit the UK.

    The world has gone a little crazy in making people believe it’s wrong to be proud of your country. There is nothing wrong with it, but there is something wrong if people are led to believe that it is wrong to be proud, no matter where you come from.

    Being English certainly has it’s advantages and why not celebrate it?

    • monsterid April 26, 2015 / 7:00 am

      Thank you Debbie, I quite agree. And one of the best things about being English is that we welcome people from other countries and cultures wherever they are from and whatever their circumstances. I do hope that a minority aren’t able to ruin this for us.

  2. April 29, 2015 / 9:59 am

    As someone with French, Northern Irish and Scottish heritage (though ultiamtely raised “English”) I have always felt much more comfortable thinking of myself as British than English. My children are being taught to think of themselves as British and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    Despite this, I would like to celebrate St George’s Day and give it the same profile as St Andrew’s, David’s and Patrick’s day. Alas, I’m just not comfortable with it. On St George’s Day this year I was in the local pub and a bunch of locals started singing “No Surrender”. Sorry to put a downer on your blog post but it’s that type of experience that makes me wary of aknowledging the event.

    • monsterid April 30, 2015 / 10:49 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on this and I’m so sorry it’s taken me an inordinate amount of time to reply. I do agree with you, it is so sad that the event is hijacked by the minority that want to ruin it. That is what gives pride in being English such a bad reputation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.