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By George! Lets celebrate saint's day.

Summary: Civic and church leaders have joined calls for greater emphasis to be placed on St George's Day.

Civic and church leaders have joined calls for greater emphasis to be placed on St George's Day.

An apparent reluctance to display too much patriotism and the perceived difficulties of aligning national pride with the concept of a "United Kingdom" have pushed the patron saint of England's day onto the sidelines.

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has suggested a public holiday marking the day could help promote unity.

He said: "I believe that the feast of St George, the patron saint of England, is a day that we should celebrate.

"It's important that young people in this country rejoice in the land that they live in and have a sense of national pride and identity.

"It is time to recognise collectively the enormous treasure that sits in our cultural and spiritual vaults."

His comments came after the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, called for Church of England clergy to hold dedicated services to celebrate the "glorious heritage" of St George.

Creating a new public holiday would turn the occasion around from an event that has lost relevance, according to a survey of 7,000 users of social website MySpace.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said St George's Day had been "ignored" for too long and has organised a series of free events in the capital as well as ordering the English flag to be flown outside City Hall.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Apr 23, 2009
Words:275
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