April 26, 2010

St George rides through London

by Sara Levy

A knight in shining armour rode on horseback through London on Friday to mark St George’s Day.

The faux St George, dressed in traditional attire from the Armourers’ Hall, led a pageant through the capital city, reviving a century’s old tradition that died out in 1585.

The decision to hold the parade again after 425 years was made the Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers in an effort to reclaim the day of England’s patron saint from extremists.

Tom Tudor-Pole, a member of the Armourers, said: “St George’s Day is a great opportunity to recognise what binds us together and to celebrate England’s rich culture, heritage and sporting traditions.

“The red cross of St George on its white background was adopted by Richard the Lionheart who brought it to England from the Crusades, and whose soldiers wore it on their tunics to avoid confusion in battle.”

St George, a Roman soldier born to a Christian family in Palestine, was martyred for refusing to renounce his faith.

He is recognised as a saint in a number of other countries outside England, many of which are Muslim.

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