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.

Kate Middleton is a keen fan of Welsh Rugby

According to the Express, English rose Kate Middleton has defected to Wales:

“William takes a very active interest in Welsh rugby and Kate ended up closely following their fortunes with him during the recent World Cup. She has pretty much been converted into a Wales fan when it comes to rugby.”

Prince Harry is a passionate England fan and Princess Anne follows Scotland. Her daughter Zara Phillips is married to former England captain Mike Tindall.

It’s funny how Scottish Rugby have a Scottish anthem, despite Princess Anne being the Patron of the SRU; Welsh Rugby have a Welsh anthem, even though Queen Elizabeth II is the Patron of the WRU and Prince William is the Vice Royal Patron of the WRU, but; English rugby sings God Save the Queen because “Prince Harry is our vice patron and we think that is the appropriate anthem to use and our member clubs agree“.

That doesn’t explain why the British anthem appropriate for England but not for Scotland and Wales?

Random Quote

…you don’t have to be English to be stirred by Jerusalem. You only have to be a human being.

— Tony Parsons, The Mirror

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