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Does Patriotism Make Us British?

19 January, 2006

Timothy Garton Ash wrote in The Guardian today, “To express who we British really are today, we must put out more flags – or none.” But do the various national flags within the United Kingdom actually say anything about who we are as a nation, and should we display the Union Jack to show our love for our country?

The article talks of the patriotism in the United States, with the Stars and Stripes appearing in many a backyard throughout the country, and although I’m sure most would agree that us British are a lot less patriotic than the USA, does it really make a difference?

Besides, what with an increasingly diverse range of cultures in Britain, does our national flag anymore. We already have the flag of Saint George for England, the cross of Saint Patrick, the Saltire for the Scots and the Welsh Dragon. It certainly doesn’t stop there. What about the Indian, Pakistani, Jamaican, Caribbean, Chinese and that’s just a few? Do we incorporate all the cultures of 21st century Britain into a ‘new’ flag, or just put out the flags of everything we feel part of? From our national flag to the local football team. Or just none at all?

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