Violence erupted at a St. George’s Day event in central London. The Metropolitan Police have released footage showing a group of men – some draped in St. George’s flags – clashing with officers in Whitehall. At one point in the footage, a man appears to strike a police horse with an umbrella.

The Met had earlier cautioned that attendees of the event were anticipated to include “far right groups and groups linked to football clubs travelling from elsewhere in the UK.”. Shortly after 2 pm, the force posted on X: “The event is not due to commence for an hour, and regrettably, officers are already dealing with disorder.” The event was scheduled to commence at 3 pm and conclude two hours later on a pre-agreed route.

The post continued: “There is an area allocated for this event in Richmond Terrace. This group passed it and continued up Whitehall. When officers formed a cordon and requested the group turn around, they responded by forcibly pushing through. Mounted officers intervened with horses to restore the cordon.” The crowd is now understood to have dispersed and the disorder has ceased.

The Met previously stated that an order was in force in Lambeth and Westminster granting officers the authority to demand the removal of face coverings after observing several people wearing masks. It further stated that a Section 60 order was issued, permitting police to increase stop and searches. St George’s Day is observed on 23 April annually, commemorating the patron saint of England.

St. George and the Myth of Englishness

St. George, the legendary dragon slayer, has long been associated with England, as depicted on the nation’s flag and celebrated annually on April 23rd. However, to confine St. George’s identity solely to Englishness would overlook the rich tapestry of his origins and the diverse cultural contexts in which his legend has flourished. In exploring St. George’s multifaceted heritage, it becomes evident that his story transcends national boundaries, embodying universal themes and resonating with diverse cultures worldwide.

Historically, St. George’s roots extend far beyond the shores of England. While he is often depicted as a knight in shining armour battling a dragon, the earliest accounts of his legend trace back to the Eastern Mediterranean region. St. George’s veneration can be found in places like Palestine, where he is revered as a Christian martyr, and in countries such as Georgia, where he is considered the patron saint. His legend also holds significance in various parts of the Middle East, where he is known as Mar Jiryis in Arabic-speaking communities.

The spread of St. George’s cult across different regions was facilitated by the diffusion of Christianity and the cross-cultural exchange that accompanied it. As the faith spread, so too did the stories of its saints, adapting to local customs and beliefs along the way. In this process of cultural syncretism, St. George’s narrative absorbed elements from diverse traditions, enriching his character with layers of symbolism and meaning.

Moreover, St. George’s association with England emerged relatively late in history, gaining prominence during the Crusades and solidifying in the late Middle Ages. The adoption of St. George as England’s patron saint was influenced by political and religious factors, as English soldiers returning from the Holy Land brought back tales of his bravery and martyrdom. Over time, St. George became intertwined with English identity, symbolising courage, chivalry, and the defense of the realm.

However, the English appropriation of St. George should not overshadow his global significance or negate his non-English origins. Rather than being exclusively English, St. George’s story belongs to humanity as a whole, transcending borders and resonating with people of diverse backgrounds. His legend embodies timeless themes of valour, righteousness, and the triumph of good over evil, which are universally recognised and celebrated.

In contemporary times, the celebration of St. George’s Day has evolved into a multicultural affair, with communities around the world paying homage to the legendary saint. In England, it is an occasion to celebrate English heritage and identity, but it is also an opportunity to embrace diversity and inclusivity, acknowledging St. George’s global appeal and the diverse cultural tapestry from which his legend emerged.

Stop believing the myths, folks. Life does not have to be just one lie after another.


At least six individuals have been apprehended following disturbances at a St George’s Day gathering in central London.

The Metropolitan Police previously released footage depicting a cohort of men – some adorned with St George’s flags – engaging in altercations with officers in Whitehall. A man was detained under suspicion of animal cruelty after “a police horse was subjected to aggression on Whitehall”, as stated by the Met. Another individual was detained on suspicion of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. Outside a Whitehall pub, four additional arrests were made – one for suspected assault and three for suspected assault against an emergency services worker, confirmed the authorities.

The gathering attracted hundreds of attendees, including former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson and former GB News presenter Laurence Fox. The Metropolitan Police had cautioned that attendees were anticipated to include “far-right factions and groups affiliated with football clubs travelling from other parts of the UK”.

Shortly after 2pm, the police announced on X: “The scheduled commencement time for the event is an hour away, yet officers are already managing disturbances. An area has been designated for this event in Richmond Terrace. However, this group proceeded past it and continued along Whitehall. When officers formed a blockade and instructed the group to turn back, they responded by aggressively pushing their way through. Mounted officers intervened with horses to reinstate the blockade.” The altercation was brought under control, and the Metropolitan Police confirmed that there have been “no further incidents since that altercation”.

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