Flags! David Cameron is going to be flying the English flag at 10 Downing Street - an unusual move because it's supposed to be the goverment of the whole UK - but as the English team are kicking a ball about in a competition that none of the other UK countries are in, he thinks it's okay. The other countries have nothing to gloat about, by the way, not being in the silly thing, as they tried their best, it's not like they couldn't be bothered. Anyway, it's all fine for people who like that sort of thing, as long as they don't shove it down my throat, which they will. David Cameron hopes that people in the UK, whatever country in the UK they are in, will be shouting 'come on England, win please!' What is he on, except trying to be provocative? There's two basic reasons this is stupid. Firstly, I wouldn't be shouting 'come on England' even if I was English. I'd want England to get knocked out as soon as possible to minimise the length of time that the streets are filled with bellowing drunken apes. And secondly, the whole reason the game is such a big business is cro-magnon tribalism. Here in Scotland, for instance, there is a proven correlation between a football team that someone tribally associates himself with losing and an increase in domestic violence. People like that would be rooting for Al-Qaeda if they were playing against England in the first round. And it's those sorts of feelings that are part of the reason some of the people want to put flags everywhere (not everyone - a good number of people within and without England will be supporting the team in a way which wouldn't fall foul of the iron fist of my hypothetical rule, even with the use of the cross of St. George. For some people it's about enjoyment).
So where does it come from, the English flag? In the crusades the pope said that the French people who went to murder Muslims for not kissing his arse should use St. George's red cross on white, and the English ones should have a white cross on red. This would presumably easily identify the teams to the officials who were keeping score. But although they loved the pope enough to go and murder Muslims for him the English ones were not willing to respect his wishes in regard of their away kit - well, they had to draw the line somewhere - so they used the St. George's cross too. They had a bit of a thing for St. George, and they didn't want to look Swiss, being vulnerable to the sin of pride.
St. George came from Lydda. In 1948 Israel invaded there and expelled all the Arabs, many of whom died on their forced three-day march out of there. If I was from that part of the world I'd have been pretty sick of St. George's cross by then, even if I was too young to remember the crusades, which I probably would have been. For all their faults, and their brutality, the Israelis did not expel anyone over 700 years old. It is a major grievance to them that they don't get enough credit for that.
I couldn't see how the cross became associated with St. George, or when. Do you have any idea? Answers to the usual et cetera.
that's all from me for now
see you around
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