Saint George’s Day for All

Happy Saint George’s Day!

Photograph © Shawn Naphtali Sobers 2010

On Radio 4 a while ago there was a debate about patron saints and nationalism, and if it was a healthy thing.  One of the guests said they thought Saint George’s day was a good opportunity for different communities to celebrate in England, as Saint George himself represented inclusiveness as he was born in Turkey, and is the patron saint of Aragon, Catalonia, England, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia, as well as the cities of Amersfoort, Beirut, Fakiha, Bteghrine, Cáceres (Spain), Ferrara, Freiburg, Genoa, Ljubljana, Gozo, Milan, Pomorie, Preston, Qormi, Rio de Janeiro, Lod, Barcelona and Moscow.

Here goes then!

“This painting of a religious procession was done in the 19th century in Ethiopia by an unknown artist.  It shows St George riding above the procession on a white horse. You can read about it in more detail on The British Museum’s website.  St George is one of the most important saints in Ethiopia. Paintings of him were taken into battle ahead of the Ethiopian army to give them victory.”

© The British Museum (this version of the was text taken from Show Me website).

Happy Saint George’s Day!


2 thoughts on “Saint George’s Day for All

  1. It’s interesting to see your image after our conversation. I had no idea that St George was such a rolling stone!

    We all have a range of identities to do with our race, gender, class, cultural choices and so on, and I feel that I swerve my national identity because it’s so historically complex and tainted. It’s good to engage with it and grapple with the many headed beast that it is.

    The Conservatives did a good job of annexing ‘family values’ in the 90s, as if none of us non Conservatives had families or children. The far right have annexed nationalism in a similar way and it would be good to deprive them of this foothold, as it is a powerful one to have.

  2. Nicely put Luci! Depriving the far right of national pride is the battle, as you say. A battle and a half! I feel some more self portraits coming on……!

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