ME and Ophelia

Friday, April 09, 2004

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Flying the flag for good olde England

Saint George, the patron saint of England, is remembered on the British calender as St. George's Day April 23. England's flag is St George's Cross Flag - a red cross on a white background.

British blogger Tom Watson MP writes about the number of people in his constituency that have raised St George's Day with him. People feel that St George's Day should be officially recognised and marked as a national day of celebration. Tom asks: "is this taking things too far or should we seriously think about it?"

One reader commented: "Not at all, its about time. We British celebrate other countries' saints days - St Patrick's Day for example. The Scots and the Welsh rightly make the most of St Andrew's and St David's, its time we English did the same. We must be the only country in Europe not to have a national day of celebration. Its time for a change."

I agree. It's time we English celebrated St George's Day. We need to have our own national day of celebration. If necessary, change the name of one of the Bank Holidays, to make way for St George's Day. I'm not sure that I understand why Bank Holidays are still stand as official "bank" holidays. Let's fly the English flag and celebrate about everything that's so good and great about England. The list of people, places, food, drink, pastimes and hobbies is endless. It could be done with a great sense of fun too - the English have a great sense of humour :-)

Here is BBC News' Have Your Say for St. George's Day on April 23.
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Bring in a new law along with the stocks

Recently, I saw a BBC News online photo of a man - standing in the streets of London, England - burning our Union Flag [can't find link] in protest. I wondered why the perpetrator was not immediately arrested for desecration of our flag. I'd always thought such an act (even defacing the Queen on our money) was tantamount to treason. Made me wonder what the penalty is these days for treason and being traitor.

British citizens did not give their lives in World War I and II to see our Union Flag being defiantly set on fire in the streets of London. I say: Hang 'em high!! Send them to the Tower!! Off with their heads!! Years ago, people were hung, drawn and quartered for lesser offences... Of course, I am only joking. But desecration of our flag in our country is definitely an act of hatred, violence and war that is separate from free speech and, IMO a very serious offence.

Perhaps a new flag desecration law could be introduced to launch St George's Day. And bring back the stocks in town and village squares. Put the flag burners - and any other traitors to this country - including football hooligans creating mayhem abroad - in fact anyone that puts this country to shame - in stocks for St George's Day so passers by can pelt them with rotten tomoatoes and raw eggs. Heh. Then they'll soon know how the English feel about their country's flag.
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Death by hanging is still on statute books?

On searching for a definition of treason, I found this: "Treason is the act of betraying; betrayal of a trust undertaken by or reposed in anyone; a breach of faith, treachery. High Treason or Treason Proper is the violation of a subject of his allegiance to his sovereign or to the state, levying war on the King's dominions, adhering to the King's enemies in his dominions, or aiding them in or out of the realm. In 1795 the offence was extended to include the contemplated use of force to make the King change his counsels.

High Treason the penalty for which is death by hanging is still on the statute books. Likewise any subject of the Crown who knows that High Treason is being carried on and fails to report it is guilty of Misprision of High Treason, the penalty may be death: to deprive the Queen of her Crown or any of her dominions."
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Is a gross misdemeanour

I googled desecration of the union flag and found the Washington Secretary of State's site: "RCW 9.86.030 "No person shall knowingly cast contempt upon any flag, standard, color, ensign or shield, as defined in RCW 9.86.010, by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, or trampling upon said flag, standard, color, ensign or shield. Penalty. Any violation of this chapter shall be a gross misdemeanor."

And then asked 'what is the penalty for burning the US flag?': "The U.S. Flag Code (title 4, United States Code, sections 5 to 10) does not have the force of law, therefore there are no penalties other than those which would be imposed for burning a piece of cloth in a public place. Further, the Supreme Court declared the statutes containing criminal penalties for U.S. flag desecration un-Constitutional in 1989 and 1990. However, there has been discussion in recent times of an Amendment to the Constitution specifically prohibiting this practice. The Flag Code does state that burning is the preferred method of disposal for a dishonored flag (one too tattered or soiled to be displayed), so even if such an Amendment were to be passed, it is likely that there would still be no penalty in such a case."

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 4/09/2004
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