England is the least patriotic nation in Europe, a shocking study has revealed.
Over-the-top political correctness and a fear of being branded racist when flying the St. George’s cross flag are the main reasons for the worrying lack of patriotism.
Other factors include a loss of national identity caused by European meddling and a worry over how others will judge those who express national pride.
Six per cent of Englishmen and women said they were ‘scared’ to fly the national flag and one in six fear they will be told to take it down.
But worryingly just one in three knew St George’s Day was this Friday and more than forty per cent were clueless as to why he is the patron saint.
The statistics emerged from a report commissioned by This England magazine, which took in the opinions of 5,820 adults in nine major countries between the ages of 18 and 65.
Stephen Garnett, editor of This England magazine, said: ”We’re incredibly disappointed that English people are afraid of displaying the St George’s Cross on our patron saint’s day.
”We want to reclaim the flag from extremists by asking as many people as possible, no matter what background they come from, to fly it.
”People who love living in England shouldn’t feel afraid of showing their pride. The more we display the St George’s flag, the more we can drown out the voices of the extreme minority and reclaim the flag as a sign of national pride, not racism.
”It was quite shocking to see some of the results particularly the amount of people that don’t fly the flag because of fear of being judged.
”On that note, it was also worrying to see how many people said that political correctness has stopped them from celebrating their national pride.
”It just shows what political correctness has done to the English people over the years.
”We always suspected that national pride had decreased but it’s quite scary to see how much when you compare to other countries.”
The study, which was carried out between the 7th and 14th April and was published to celebrate St.George’s Day this Friday.
It asked respondents their opinions on several aspects of national pride and patriotism.
On the subject of patriotism England scored the lowest level of the nine nations, with the average Englishman or woman recording their patriotism at 5.8 out of ten, with ten being the highest.
One in four English adults said ‘political correctness’ had left them feeling ashamed to be English.
And only one in ten said they would happily fly the cross of St. George, compared to more than one in three Dutch people.
And almost one in five people said they feared they would be told to take their flag down if they erected one on their house or in their garden.
More than one in four said they feared being branded ‘racist’, but four out of ten said they would happily express their national pride behind closed doors.
Four out of ten said they felt England had completely lost its national identity.
A similar number said the only time they felt a real sense of patriotism was during big sporting events or competitions, with 53 per cent claiming the World Cup was the main spark, followed by the Olympics.
Bizarrely, three out of ten said they felt waves of patriotism in the wake of terrorist atrocities in our towns and cities.
Scots ranked their patriotism at 7.1, the Welsh at 7.06 and the Irish at 6.72.
The Dutch emerged as the most patriotic European country at 7.18, narrowly ahead of the Welsh.
The Irish emerged as the UK nation most likely to display their national flag.
It also emerged one in five English men and women blame a broken society for their lack of patriotism, while half said they were patriotic in the past.
Stephen Garnett added: ”We think it is really important for people, particularly English people, to feel proud of where they live and it was interesting to see from the results that they would feel more proud of their country, if St George’s Day was a national holiday and there were more celebrations taking place.
”The Irish have got it right with celebrating St Patrick’s Day, it would be healthy if the English did the same – it would be great for unity.”