As I sat in a taxi returning from my weekly shopping trip to Big C Extra I noticed several taxis proudly displaying both the Thai National flag and the yellow ‘King’s flag.’  The King, Bhumibol Adulyadej, often referred to as the ninth King, Rama IX, has a yellow flag as this colour represents Monday, the day of his birth.

The King’s birthday is 5th December and as we approach that date the number of yellow flags will increase expotentially.  They will be seen along the streets, outside homes, in factories and offices all across this country.   The Thai people will be waving them along the streets as a show of love for their King whilst in the other hand they may well hold the national flag giving a show of pride in their country.

I thought about how every country in the world cherishes their national flag.  How angry people become when they see their national flag being burned by those who protest against their country.  I then recalled that only a few weeks ago a British Member of Parliament, Ms. Emily Thornberry, was dismissed for an insensitive tweet relating to sighting English flags on a house in the Rochester & Strood area of Kent whilst a by-election was being run.

Ms. Thornberry said nothing but her meaning was clear.  She was ridiculing the flying of the English flag and casting an aspersion upon the occupier who chose to deck the front of his house in such a manner.  When I considered the white van to the front and the St. George’s cross flags adorning the property I suddenly realized that us English stereotype people who display our national flag.  We see them as skinheads, bullies, large aggressive types with brawn instead of brain, menacing individuals who are covered head to toe with tattoos.  They symbolize all that is wrong with our culture, they are deemed to be of low class and to show the English flag is seen by many as a show of aggression towards our fellow Brits – the Scots, Welsh and Irish.

Strangely we see the Scots, Welsh and Irish proudly displaying their own national flags and rejoice in their nationalism, vive la difference.   Yet, we seem to despise the English flag, the symbol that England is a separate nation whilst being inextricably linked to its United Kingdom brothers under one government and one rule and one monarch.  How, and more importantly why, did this situation occur?  When did we start to dislike ourselves so much that we began to believe it was moronic or thuggish to display the Cross of St. George as though we have no right to be proud to be English?

I am ashamed to admit that the thoughts that swirl around my head when I see the English flag draped from the front of a house are no different from those I imagine went on in Ms. Thornberry’s mind.  I immediately conjure up images of football hooligans rampaging through European streets in the nineteen seventies and eighties, all wearing the Cross of St. George around their shoulders – the modern day Crusaders crushing dissenters.

We, as English, appear to love everyone else’s nationalism and pride in their country yet we despise any such notion when related to ourselves.  Is it simply that being English has no real defining identity, nothing that makes an Englishman different from any of the other members of the United Kingdom?   We have no national costume or dress unless you count the wearing of a ‘Beefeater’ suit which I certainly do not.

We seem almost embarrassed to say we are English and I was raised by my parents to respond ‘I am British’ whenever asked where I am from.  As it has turned out I have always referred to myself as being English.  Well I am English, my parents were English as were there parents before them.

I am not embarrassed at being English but I am not really nationalistic either.   I will cheer England in football, cricket, rugby and all other sports.  I will defend my country the best I am able when it is being verbally attacked or abused but I know only too well the flaws that it has and I will openly discuss those flaws with others.

England is not perfect.  There are no perfect states there are just some countries that are less imperfect than others.  Politically I have moved from being a socialist at the age of eleven when I gave my first political speech to my classmates at Windsor Grammar school as we held a mock General Election.  If you are from the U.K you will understand that Windsor raises only Conservatives so I stood among thirty-six in a minority of one.   Actually from memory of back in 1964 I believe there were thirty conservatives, five liberals and me!

During my college years I moved further to the left and as student union chairman became a card carrying member of the Communist Party of Great Britain.  That lasted three years and was quickly forgotten about when I applied for my first ever visa to visit the U.S.A – something that us Brits are no longer required to have.  I moved a little to my right and was back to being a socialist where I pretty much stayed for the next forty years.

Today, with a General Election in the U.K due next year, I would probably be best described as an anarchist.  No I am not in favour of running through the streets setting fire to banks and bankers (well actually as regards banks and bankers possibly I am in favour of that).  I believe I would be termed an anarcho-pacifist.  I have just become so disillusioned with central governments across the globe that I cannot bring myself to trust them or believe any words spoken by politicians.  Having reached that stage surely my only option was to become an anarchist.

So, after veering wildly off the core topic of today, what is it to be English I will return thereto.  Are we a nation of people who actually do not need a single identity to cover us or are we embarrassed about what and who we have become over the centuries?  The one thing I do know is that we, as a nation of people, really do not hold grudges against other countries.  Yes we still make snide remarks about the Germans for a war that finished sixty years ago but we actually quite like the Germans, we certainly do admire them.  That in itself is quite unique as we look at our fellow Brits who still harbor a dislike of the English for acts committed several hundred years earlier – I have always found that a little odd.

Whatever our identity, or lack thereof, the one thing that is assured is that in a time of conflict this disparate band of men and women will stand together as one.  They will fight to the death to protect England without worrying or caring what it actually means to be English.  Perhaps, after all, we do not need a national identity and simply being ENGLISH is enough for us.

In the next Blog I will return to the more fascinating subject of girls and Thai girls in particular as I review 2014 from the perspective of My Princess Bangkok Escorts.

I will leave you now with the result from the classroom election in 1964 after I and the Conservative and Liberal speakers had addressed our peers:

Conservative – 7 votes

Liberal – 3 votes

Labour – 26 votes

Take care and enjoy,

Kevin