England’s anthem angers Scotland

Oliver Wates’ letter in today’s Independent backs up Anthem4England’s view that the use of God Save the Queen as an English anthem undermines Britishness.

Scottish nationalism would not be the force it is today without the perverse decision by the (England) Rugby Football Union to use the British national anthem for the England team (letters, 11, 12, 13, 14 January).

In the 1960s, to be a Scottish Nationalist was the equivalent of declaring your religion as Jedi Knight. No one took them seriously. Scots would be desperate for their team to thrash England at Murrayfield, but at the end of the match they were still as British as the men in white.

Several decades of rugby as a televised spectator sport have changed all that. How can a young Scot who grows up seeing the British national anthem being used to represent the “enemy” team feel fully British? You could not devise a better way to alienate an entire people. It screams, “You are second-class citizens”.

Why on earth did the RFU allow this damaging and illegitimate use of the British anthem? A simple phone call to the effect that HM did not approve of her British anthem being appropriated by just one of the four UK constituents would have settled the matter and we’d all be singing “Jerusalem” instead.

A whole generation of Scots has grown up to think of “Britain” as no more than a vehicle for English arrogance. It didn’t have to be like that.

The irony being that the RFU persist with God Save the Queen out of respect for the Monarchy.

8 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Junius says:

    Frankly the defacto Scottish anthem offends the English in me; the German National Anthem should offend just about everyone !!

    The problem – I believe – is not with the anthem, but with the attitude that the fellow on the other team that comes from down South is the ‘Enemy’.

  2. James says:

    Never mind Scotland, the English Anthem ‘Jerusalem’ angers me! Nobody knows the words! ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ had been used previously at the Commonwealth Games to great effect, is easily recognized and many more know the words already. At sporting events England deserves an anthem that at least their participants know; and preferably one everyone recognizes. It’s a much more uplifting and rousing anthem than the timid, barely known strains of Jerusalem. What a pity more care was not taken when the new anthem was selected; Jerusalem sounds very confusing to foreigners too! God Save the Queen is the British National Anthem but one wonders if it will revert to the English anthem now a referendum is promised by Alex Salmond about Scotland seceding from the UK. The choice of anthem has become a debatable question!!

    • harry says:

      I seem to remember at the last commonwealth games the full version of Jerusalem was sung for English athletes which was deemed a bit too long,they shortened it to an acceptable length but that didn`t detract it from making you feel pride when the ST Georges Cross was raised so yes it`s Jerusalem for me.

  3. J Nemo says:

    I agree whole heartedly with England having its own anthem (I vow to thee my country) Also as Britain being independent nations under one crown with one British anthem for all state and international occasions. Regarding The Scottish anthem I sugest it is not inclusive to other cultures and in a modern world seems inherently racist. A more modern and forward looking anthem would serve better such a fine and successful country.

  4. Pete Jones says:

    The English national anthem GSTQ is not an anthem for England as the words are nowt to do with England the song is sung by all the Queens subjects to reaffirm their subjugation to her as the Queen. As a republican I find the the singing of GSTQ offensive.

  5. enery the 5th says:

    I would grudgingly accept LOHAG as our national anthem but only as second choice to ‘Jerusalem’

  6. mark kirby says:

    i burnt my union jack a long time ago im english not brittish time to stand up and be counted

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Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales all have their own anthems but England is stuck with the so-called British anthem in which verse five urges crushing the Scots. Which is easy enough in just about every sport apart from curling and caber tossing.

— Denis Kilcommons, Huddersfield Examiner

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