Sunderland councillor calls for English national anthem & St George's Day bank holiday, as Council fails to fly flag
By Stephen O'Brien
Sunderland City Council won't be flying the England flag at the Civic Centre this year, as it doesn't feel it can do so due to social distancing requirements.
A Wearside local councillor who wanted Sunderland City Council to fly the Engla nd flag at the Civic Centre to mark St George's Day has said that England's national day should be used to reflect on and celebrate the way the country has come together during the coronavirus crisis.
Councillor Stephen O'Brien also wants the Government to make 23rd April a bank holiday, as well as giving England its own national anthem.
English sports teams currently use the UK-wide national anthem, God Save The Queen, whereas Scotland and Wales use their own national anthems.
Commenting, Lib Dem councillor for Grindon and Thorney Close Stephen O'Brien said:
"It is disappointing that the Council feels that they are unable to fly the flag at the Civic Centre due to social distancing rules. I hope the City Council will look at what else they can do to mark and celebrate St George's Day this year and in future.
"Throughout this crisis our diverse communities have come together to look out for one another, to pull together so that no-one is left behind and to celebrate key workers who are going above and beyond every day, risking their own lives to protect and care for others. This shows us the best of England and Englishness - and St George's Day is the perfect time to celebrate the very best of our country and of our city.
"I'll also be contacting the Government to ask them to, once the COVID-19 crisis is over, commit to properly marking St George's Day as many other countries around the world mark their national day - with a bank holiday.
"I'd also like to see an official national anthem for England that we can use on St George's Day and for sporting fixtures. Scotland and Wales don't use the UK national anthem, so why should England be denied our own identity and national anthem?"