National pride, patriotism, whatever you want to call it, is not often found so blatantly with British folk. Why that is, may not be the most obvious thing to anyone who is not from the country. We are certainly nothing like the Americans, and a lot of people would say that’s a good thing. Travel outside of London, and you’ll probably not come across a British flag. Unless it’s a special day, you won’t find them anywhere. I challenge you to find a house with a flag outside – I know only of one in my entire life. Even harder than that, find a school with a flag in the grounds. My high school had one, but even that was eventually taken down. Ask a random person on the street to sing the national anthem. Past “God save our gracious Queen”, I’ll be willing to bet they can go no further than that.
Does this mean we are, as a nation, not proud? No.
We are an old country. A very, very old country. We are secure in what we are, who we are and where we are in the world. We’re senior citizens, old aged pensioners, veterans of the western world. We have little need to rally around the flag everyday, much less sing an anthem to a woman who has simply become a tourist attraction.
But we are proud.
We recognise our greatness. We know we stand for fairness. We stand for equality, for freedom and for tolerance. We love our country, we love our way of life and heck we love our Queen. We love our National Health Service, our great welfare system, our relatively good public transport. We have very low university costs, and student loans only change due to inflation. We are proud of our history, of what we have achieved, and what we have brought to the world.
We might complain, but the best way of demonstrating our pride is not by looking at our media. Don’t look at our politicians, don’t even look at our lack of flags and our lack of knowledge about national anthems.
Try attacking us.
Try telling us you don’t like the Queen.
Try insulting Britain.
Then you will see us rally together.
We may complain about our free health service, but we crash Twitter when Sarah Palin and the Republicans bashed the system.
We may complain about the Royal Family, but 2.5 billion citizens of the world joined us in mourning the late Princess Diana.
We may not fly our flag often, but we come through when the issue is at hand.
We may not all know the national anthem, but we proudly sing at the Last Night of the Proms.
Myself? Well, I know the national anthem, and I fly the flag in my bedroom. Gotta love that!
God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen
Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save the Queen.