On national anthems

I do whinge about the crappy "God Save The Queen" that England seems to be stuck with, but according to this interesting web site, it’s not actually our "official" anthem. In fact, we don’t have one – by law anyway. It just seems that England finds itself in an awkward position of being too closely identified as Great Britain and therefore defaulting to the "umbrella" anthem.

This is endemic of England’s lack of identity these days. There’s not denying that the Scots definitely and the Welsh to a lesser extent (though actually more so recently) have a definite established identity. Northern Ireland, to outside views, is still more lumped in with the Republic as part of the Emerald Isle thing but still has its own identity as part of the United Kingdom (not Great Britain – check the wording on your passport, people).

England, however, is often just seen as the UK. Scots say they’re from Scotland, Taffs from Wales and Micks from Ireland (I wonder… Irish folk – if an foreigner asks you where you’re from, do you specify North or South?). English people – in my experience travelling – are as likely to say "Britain" or "the UK" as they are to say "England". At least I have an excuse with my parentage.

Regardless, have a trawl through the site. It makes for some interesting reading.

4 thoughts on “On national anthems”

  1. Hmmmm. I think England’s perceived lack of identity is a really complex question. If you asked 10 different English people what they thought the characteristics of English Culture were, you’d get very varied answers i believe.

    Something to do with our hugely diverse sociology and widely spaced social strata. Despite the culmalative effects of multi-culturalism over the last 50 years, there are huge differences between, a white middle-class man who lives in (say) surrey and a Black Guy who was brought up in Acton. I imagine its a bit like trying to compare a fan of the toon to a Macan ?

    We’re a disperate group the English. I’m sure there are really sound and understandable reasons for this.

    Whether this is good….or bad…I’m not sure

    JVIP

  2. I’m all for integrating other cultures into our own – how else would we have things like curry? 🙂 But the stereotypical Englishness just doesn’t exist any more. The guy in the pinstripe suit and bowler hat who says “top ho!” just doesn’t exist any more.

    Are we still a tea-drinking nation? Do we eat buttered scones? Does anyone actually *like* cricket?

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