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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 April 2007, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
Call for St George's Day holiday
St George's flag
St George's Day was first celebrated on 23 April 1222
St George's Day should be made a national holiday in England, a Conservative MP has said.

On the eve of the patron saint's day, Andrew Rosindell suggested scrapping the May Day Bank Holiday to make way for a day off on 23 April.

"I feel that it is time that we asserted our Englishness," the Romford MP told GMTV.

Mr Rosindell insisted the move would not detract from England's commitment to Britain as a whole.

"Why should England be one of very few countries in the world that doesn't have a public holiday to celebrate their national day?" he said.

"If you look at everything that England and the English people over so many generations, many centuries, have achieved, we have a proud history - greater than most other countries - and yet there does seem to be a feeling in this country that you'd better not say anything or do anything to promote England."

Why do we need to celebrate dimwitted pursuits such as patriotism?
Andy Belkin, Norwich

Mr Rosindell, who is famous for dressing his bulldog Spike in a Union Jack waistcoat, said the "popular mood" was behind the idea.

"It's fine if the Scots want to have their parliament and fly the Scottish flag and be deeply proud of their Scottish heritage.

"It's fine in Ireland where St Patrick's Day is obviously an enormously important day in the calendar, but nothing in England.

"I feel that it is time that we asserted our Englishness - not in a nasty way, not in a nationalistic way, but in a very inclusive way so that everybody can feel part of it, and everyone who is part of England can celebrate our traditions, our history, our heritage and the English way of life."

St Patrick's Day is a public holiday in Ireland, but in Wales, St David's Day is not.

In Scotland, St Andrew's Day is a voluntary public holiday, meaning there is no obligation for banks to close and employers do not have to give staff the day off.

Should St George's Day be a holiday?
Not sure
17868 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

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