A damning indictment

I do feel that things are changing for the better, but still, to anyone English, this passage from The Christian Science Monitor must serve as a damning indictment of lacklustre England:

There is no national dress, no national song. (The English footballers must sing the British anthem before matches.) The national day, April 23 – named for the patron saint of England, St. George – is an utter non-event compared with July 4 in the US, March 17 in Ireland, and July 14 in France. A decade ago, a World Cup run would have been feted with British Union jacks, not St. George flags.

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Why do national anthems sound so alike? Why do countries all salute the same tinny marches with their dotted rhythms and major keys, rather than draw on their distinctive musical heritage?

— Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, Jerusalem Post

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