There seems to be a great misunderstanding when it comes to the topic of Patriotism—something that we at EXIT UK are seeking to rectify. The Far-Right would encourage and suggest that the definition of Patriotism would refer to Racial topics and subjects—however the reality is certainly different. The British Tradition of Patriotism is in fact best likened to the celebrations we saw throughout the period of 2012—during the Olympic Games as hosted in London. In this example, we see the true meaning of community-led proudness and patriotic celebrations that followed surrounding the build up—and indeed finale—of the London 2012 Olympic games.
Now, at first glance there may be some confusion regarding the actual definition of Patriotism—as we are told often that this simply relates to National Pride and jovial events. The reality of Patriotism is that it can also apply to local and community-led engagements which are all-inclusive of people regardless of background or Race.
The idea that Patriotism is somehow associated with the question of Race is a falsity which owes itself to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Sir Oswald Mosely, during the 1930s. This false-myth was then propagated by the emerging British Far-Right under such personas as Colin Jordan and John Tyndall who would go on to form some of the defining Far-Right movements of the 20th Century.
It is therefore Important—and indeed Patriotic—that we begin to realise that there is a civic duty to reclaim Patriotism and return it to the people of this country. It doesn’t matter what the Colour of your skin is, what your Religion or Gender is—Patriotism is yours to celebrate, because you enjoy being a British subject.
The perverse Far-Right view of Patriotism is in fact Anti-Patriotic, and by that very virtue, also Anti-British. Given that the idea of Far-Right Patriotism was developed in Nazi-Germany, we must ask ourselves why the Far-Right claim to be Patriotic? Was it then Patriotic, when the bombs fell upon this Country killing many of our own citizens? The Far-Right would of course deny this and try to evade the likening to Anti-British thought; however, the truth is that these misguided individuals are in fact supporting something that is unequivocally Anti-British.
We need to send the message out there—loud and proud—that it’s OK to be Patriotic and support this Country—but then how might we be Patriotic with our actions and not just our words?
The Answer to this is attending and celebrating St George’s Day Events, by celebrating Mayday and all the other eccentric and quaint English attractions. Of course, if you are from another region within the Country, there is also many other celebratory events. Returning to the introduction and the mention of London 2012—the way in which the Country came together to support our Athletes—who were themselves of mixed ethnic origin—is a classic example of a shared Patriotic Event.
The other—and perhaps most obvious—point of Patriotic celebration is of course the Monarchy, that being in celebrating events such as the Queen’s Birthday or Trooping the Colour. Supporting our Armed Forces is also another example of Positive Patriotic Proactivity. Remembrance Sunday—something which has long been hijacked and used by the Far-Right to incite—is another significant Patriotic date, which should be celebrated and supported by all who wish.
There are also other significant Patriotic values which have gone amiss—many of these may also be examples of whereby our Country has stepped in to help Refugees and welcome them into this Country. As a Free and Fair Nation, Great Britain has a long withstanding connection to Human Rights—we have championed these rights many times—and in fact we were one of the First to abolish Slavery; and these are all things which we can be collectively proud of.
Something simple such as the Traditional cup of Tea, the English Breakfast or perhaps the national weather—these again, are all Patriotic conversational pieces because they draw similarities between who we are as a Country, and the things which connect us all together.
Patriotism should be firmly about Place, Not Race and Exit UK is dedicated to promoting this and building a proud nation which is welcoming, supportive, and inclusive.
If this is something you believe in to, then please get in touch and help us build an inclusive patriotic alternative. Called New Albion, we are in the process of developing a positive inclusive network which will not only allow people to be patriotic, but also be a place where difficult conversations can be had and where we will look for answers to issues which impact this country.
Interested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and use the subject header of New Albion and someone will be in touch.