Sunday, April 22, 2012
Time for an English Anthem
Scotland have one, Wales has one; why shouldn't England have one? In today's Sunday Telegraph, I have signed a letter with British Future and others to call for an English Anthem. This should be sung at English sporting events, just as other countries anthems are.
If we are to maintain the Union, it is vital that the English feel that our identity is not just protected, but as proud as any other. Lets reclaim national pride from the so-called 'nationalists'.
Personally I favour 'Jerusalem' as our English Anthem, as it is a song that politically unites both left and right, albeit for different reasons. Besides that, it is an amazing musical work. But, I am open to suggestions.
You can read the text of the letter below:
An English anthem
SIR – When British athletes win Gold for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics, God Save the Queen will play to celebrate. However, when it is England who take to the sporting field to play rugby or football, they should be heralded by an English anthem for an English team, just as Flower of Scotland and Land of My Fathers are sung as Scottish and Welsh anthems.
The lack of an English national anthem can lead to complaints about a lack of fair play, while treating the British national anthem as if it belongs to England undermines an equal claim to British identity and the allegiance of other nations within the United Kingdom. An English anthem would show symbolically that pride in our national identities is no barrier to being proud to be British too.
We would like to see an English anthem used when England play France in their first game in this summer’s Euro 2012 football tournament. This St George’s Day is an ideal moment for the proud and inclusive majority in our country to speak up. It would strengthen the case that the fringe extremists of the English Defence League, who would tear England apart, have no real claim to St George’s flag. An English anthem for the talented, diverse teams that represent us on the sporting field would help modern patriotic pride to defeat prejudice.
Sunder Katwala, Director, British Future, Robert Halfon MP (Con), David Lammy MP (Labour), Greg Mulholland MP (Lib Dem), Rob Berkeley Director Runnymede Trust, Baroness Berridge (Con), Phillip Blond Director, ResPublica, Mihir Bose, Jon Cruddas MP (Lab), Iain Dale, David Goodhart, Director, Demos, Paul Goodman Co-editor, ConservativeHome, Sunny Hundal, Editor, Liberal Conspiracy, Guy Lodge, Associate Director, IPPR, Rachael Jolley Editorial director, British Future, Dr Andrew Mycock Huddersfield University, Prof Tariq Modood Bristol University, Max Wind-Cowie, Head of Progressive Conservatism Project, Demos, Gareth Young, Our Kingdom