Celebrate St. George's day with this 'Song of Patriotic Prejudice' by Flanders & Swann (remember: this is a satirical piece - enjoy, and don't get offended!).
April 23 - St. George's Day
The patron saint of England (among other countries) Christian soldier St. George died on 23rd April AD 303 and is best known as a dragon-slayer - not many of those around nowadays.
By the 13th century, the cross had become England's national flag, but it wasn't until the 14th century that St. George was officially declared England's patron saint.
St. George's day customs include flying the St. George's cross flag and wearing a red rose, although as the saint was also associated with the colour blue, the more seasonal bluebell is often worn instead.
While St. George's Day has been largely overlooked since the late 1900s, more recently there has been a move towards re-establishing the festival as a national holiday.
The legend goes that a fearsome dragon was terrorising the inhabitants of Asia Minor (think modern day Turkey). The dragon demanded daily sacrifices of sheep and then seemingly developed a taste for young maidens.
At some point the King's daughter was unfortunate enough to be volunteered as the offering to appease the beast. Luckily the courageous George came to the rescue, protecting himself with the sign of the cross before killing the monster with his trusty lance and the grateful locals were soon converted to Christianity.
St George's emblem of a red cross on a white background was adopted by Richard the Lionheart in the 12th century as part of his soldier's battle uniform.