Posted on April 25, 2016

Anger as Council Officials Say UK City Is ‘Too Multicultural’ to Celebrate St George’s Day

Zoie O'Brien, Express, April 25, 2016

An English city council refused to host St George’s Day celebrations because the area is “too multicultural”.

Bristol City Council allowed the national day to pass without a single event for the patron saint, despite its history dating back to 1222.

Council chiefs said 91 different languages are spoken in the town and it would be “very difficult to commemorate them all”.

Some in the area feel as though the English symbol has been hijacked by far right groups and are concerned about being branded “racist”.

According to the Daily Star Sunday, Kalphna Woolf, founder of 91 Ways to Build a Global City, which aims to unite Bristol’s multicultural communities, said people can be frightened of the white and red St George’s flag.

She said: “There was a point in the past when I’d see the St George’s Day flag flying and it would frighten me, as it had been taken over by ‘we are England’ type groups.”

However, Ms Woolf added: “But more and more that flag has been used to unite people in recent years and I am very pleased we live under that one flag.”

While some community-led events were held across the city to mark the occasion, there were no official celebrations.

Dave Williams, who has helped organise a St George’s Day event in Fishponds, Bristol, said the celebration is intended to bring people together.

He said: “We know St George’s Day isn’t a bank holiday but it certainly needs acknowledging.

“To have something in the heart of the community is very important to us.”

The news was met with disappointment on social media.

On Twitter @brooking1980 wrote: “Bristol city council refused to acknowledge St George’s day yesterday for fear of upsetting other faiths. They don’t mind upsetting us.”

The legend of St George is the story of England’s patron saint.

The story goes the knight killed a dragon which was terrorising a village and is one of the country’s most beloved folk tales.

In 1222 the Council of Oxford declared April 23rd to be St George’s Day.

King Edward III made St George the country’s official saint just after he came to the throne in 1327.

Bristol City Council said in a statement: “We don’t normally tend to do anything as Bristol is a city with 91 different languages and it would be very difficult to commemorate them all.

“We welcome the many community-led events which take place across the city each year to mark St George’s Day.

“As with many occasions we didn’t arrange our own specific event, but at no point have we ‘refused’ to run one.”