26 June, 2006

English People Have Every Right to Celebrate the Ancient Symbols of England

The hub-bub over this ad really annoys me:

Does multiculturalism require us to forget that English civilization developed out of Christianity? The Magna Carta's first section insists on the freedom of the Christian Church in England. John Locke found the rationale for the Glorious Revolution (establishing the supremacy of Parliament) in his Christian faith. Ultimately it was England's Christian conscience that led to the abolition of slavery in parts of the globe where it had always existed. This also led to Britain granting independence with democracy, property rights, and free markets to peoples all over the world.

Also, the English seemed happy to proclaim their generic Britishness for centuries, but all the other peoples on the islands want to assert their distinct nationalities. When I visited Scotland in 2004, I saw the Cross of St. Andrew everywhere, with an occasional Union Jack hoisted over government buildings. Scots are allowed their Scottishness, the Irish their Irishness, and the Welsh their Welshness - all in abundance. England is a real place with a real people, and a historical flag they usually are cowed into ignoring. Soccer and rugby seem to be the only areas of life where English folks are permitted to be proud of their sheer Englishness. Sheesh, let 'em celebrate it!


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