St George is one of the most recognisable symbols of England and to mark St George’s day here are a few facts which may surprise you:
- Saint George isn’t English – Although his birth date isn’t clear he was actually born in Cappadocia, part of modern day Turkey.
- King Richard I in 1194 introduced England’s flag of St George, a red Cross on a white background.
- St George’s day was first named in 1222 and became a National Feast Day in 1415.
- In 1483 George’s story was published in a book,” The Golden Legend”. It is thought the story proved popular because it resembled old Anglo-Saxon tales.
- The legend of Saint George was created by Crusaders and westernised over time.
- He wasn’t the first patron saint of England, King Edward the Confessor, who ruled 1042 – 1066 was the first patron.
- It is a tradition to wear a red rose in your lapel.
- Shakespeare was born and died on Saint Georges Day.
- St George’s day is known and even prayed for by Muslims in the Middle East. His Shrine at Beit Jala receives visits from both Christian and Muslim Pilgrims.