83% feel a sense of patriotic pride in England
75% calling for greater celebration of St George’s Day
…but only 12% plan to fly the flag of St George and 46% haven’t made any plans to celebrate
A new study published today in the run up to St George’s Day has revealed the English are proud of their country but are ‘closet patriots’ and feel shy when it comes to celebrating their national pride.
The poll shows that while most English people are calling for a wider acceptance and recognition of St George’s Day, a similar number are shying away from the more conspicuous forms of celebration.
The survey of 2000 English adults carried out by Bombardier beer found that three quarters of those polled (75%) think that more should be done to celebrate St George’s Day. Of these, 76% would like a Bank Holiday and 64% would like to see the English embrace our national day as the Irish do for St Patrick’s Day.
Just under half (48%) would like to see people proudly flying the English flag on St George’s Day, as they would for the football World Cup, but only 12% say they will.
Whilst 83% say they feel proud to be English, 46% say they haven’t yet made any plans to celebrate – even though St George’s Day falls on a Saturday this year.
Commenting on the survey, Kate Fox, social anthropologist and bestselling author of ‘Watching the English: The hidden rules of English behaviour’ said, “The contradictions revealed by the survey are typical of what I call English Eeyorishness – we feel proud to be English, but we are mostly too apathetic and perhaps too cynical to make a big gushy patriotic fuss about it. It’s a typical English trait – we want more to be done but we feel shy to actually do anything! The survey shows people want to mark the occasion, but perhaps don’t know how.
Even those who do plan to celebrate St George’s Day will do so in a typically English way: not with pompous parades, sentimental speeches or fervent flag-waving, but with a pint of beer in their local pub.”
Other highlights of the survey include:
• The English qualities that we feel most proud of are our sense of humour (34%) and our sense of fair play (22%) followed by our reputation for courtesy (14%) and tolerance (9%)
• A well-crafted English pint of beer (22%) was voted at the perfect drink to celebrate St George’s Day and the Royal Wedding, followed by a glass of wine (21%) and a cup of tea (13%)
• Next year’s Olympic celebrations (28%) followed closely by the forthcoming Royal Wedding (27%) and last year’s Ashes heroics (26%) were voted the events that are a source of English pride
England’s most patriotic regions;
1. South East
2. West Midlands
3. North West
4. East Midlands
5. Yorkshire & the Humber
6. South West/ North East
7. East Anglia
“This year’s St George’s Day, combined with the Royal Wedding has created a patriotic perfect storm for the pub and brewing industries. Never before have we had St George’s Day, a Royal Wedding and two long weekends combining to create eleven days of celebration. It’s what we call the Great English Knees Up! And what better way to celebrate this typically English occasion than in a proper English pub. If there is ever a better time to show our pride for our country, it’s now.” said Chris Lewis of Bombardier’s brewers Wells & Young’s.
The brewer is expecting to sell over two million pints of beer and is supplying over 5,000 pubs across the UK with thousands of St George’s flags, streamers and enough bunting to decorate the route from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle – and back again.