British Prime Minister Boris Johnson waved the British flag – Reuters
This is not “Union Jack” But St George’s Cross, red on a white field, waved from English balconies and gardens on the eve of the final of the European Football Championship between Italy and England. Because fans, on Sunday evening, will be “real” English, one hundred percent, not “British” or citizens of the United Kingdom that also connects Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A red cross on a white field symbolizing British nationalism, the spirit of about 59 million citizens.
Englishmen who live within the borders of a nation that ends at Hadrian’s Wall, in the north, where Scotland begins and beyond which the Romans never went. Upon crossing that border, the flag changes and becomes “Soltier”, the Scottish flag, a white cross on a blue field that corresponds to a different football team, Scotland, with which English fans want nothing to do. Huh. In Edinburgh, Glasgow and all other Scottish cities the flag of St. Andrew flies, solitaire right, not St. George.
In short, all the nationalisms that characterize today’s Great Britain and that “Union Jack”, which since 1606, with the blue field and red arms, have tried to unite themselves with the two flags of England and Scotland, Failed to get angry.
It is true that England borders with the English Channel to the south, which separates it from France, to the west with Wales, to the east with the North Sea that overlooks the Netherlands, and to the north with Scotland. Is. The most important part of the UK. The vast majority of the 68 million British citizens live there, compared to only 5 million Scots, just over 3 million Welsh, and almost 2 million Northern Irish.
However, it is equally true that nationalism, of which football is one of the main manifestations, is stronger in Britain today than ever before. Accelerated by Brexit. Since Britain left the European Union five years ago, Wales has become more nationalistic than it has been in the past twenty years.
Downing Street adorned with St George’s Cross for European final – Reuters
When the Minister of Culture in Boris Johnson’s government, Oliver Dowden, decided in late March that the “Union Jack” should hover above the Welsh flag, the red dragon on a green and white field, the residents of Wales revolted. And he pointed out that they are not even represented by the red arms on the blue field of the Union Jack, which speak only of England and Scotland: their red dragon remained out because when the United Kingdom was introduced, in the 1700s Wells was a region. Insignificant, attached to England.
In short, football brings us back to the destruction of the United Kingdom which, according to many, is only a matter of time.
Because if a nation in football really finds itself and unites, the history of football makes us imagine that, in a few years, the separation between Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland would become a reality. Already now Northern Ireland, the piece of land in the extreme north of the Irish island, as the capital of Belfast, in fact, remains part of the European Union and according to many will become part of the Republic of Ireland. Time, year, as the Catholic population becomes a majority.
For England, Scotland and Wales, it is enough to re-read football history to imagine the future. The oldest England team in the world was founded in the late 19th century along with the Scotland team. The first match was played between the two on March 5, 1870, with a return match organized by the Scots on November 30, 1872: they are considered the first football match in history. In short, the Scots have not supported the British for some time and, when the latter take to the fray, St George is waving the Cross, not the solitaire, nor the Union Jack.
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