Greeting my colleagues as they came in to the office today I said "Happy St George's Day!" The response, if any at all, was a mix of confusion and disbelief. How has England's national day become forgotten?
Everyone knows the legend of George and the Dragon more or less, but it is nothing more than a forgotten fairy tale for most. Most English people know the story, or at least the bare bones of it, that St George slayed a dragon, and saved a princess who had been offered as a sacrifice. But why don't people celebrate it? Is it because the British are afraid to be patriotic? Have we forgotten because we do not care?
A study by think tank British Future found that as much as 71% of people knew the date of America's Independence Day, compared to as little as 40% who knew that 23 April was St George's Day.
The results showed that, unsurprisingly, more people know when Ireland's St Patrick's Day is, and that two thirds believe that Ireland's national day is more widely celebrated in Britain than St George's Day. I'm not sure I needed a think tank to confirm the latter for me.
An English Heritage survey has also found that just 19% of adults in England plan to celebrate St George's Day.
It's not all depressing statistics though, the British PM today spoke in support of the national day:
Written by Laurence Clayton-Trotman, Community Manager.