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English icons?

24 April 2006 by Dawn

Yesterday was St George’s Day. (It was also St Adalbert’s day, but not a lot of people know that).

Culture Online’s Icons project has just announced that the St George’s Flag had made it on to the ‘official icons’ list as nominated by the public. But for many the St George’s flag is more likely to conjure up visions of World Cup fever than a gallant knave rescuing a damsel in distress.

This got me thinking about the nature of Englishness and how the Icons project is aiming to reflect a true and diverse picture of English life, rather than tired old clichés.  The first round of icons featured  Holbein’s portrait of Henry VIII, as well as stereotypical candidates like the cup of tea and the Routemaster bus.

Now’s the time to make a difference. There are people voting furiously for everything from Basil Brush to the Battle of Agincourt. Liverpool’s waterfront is up there, along with the garden shed, morris dancing, real ale, queuing, salad cream, football and (oddly enough) the film ‘Four Weddings & A Funeral’.

Is this what England means to you? Add your own nominations and get voting!

The next set of official English icons will be announced on 28 April.

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