To be a nationalist nowadays is an anathema to a lot of people. Believing as they do that the term has been hijacked by far-right zealots whose only aim is to repatriate those not born in this country, or that it is just not fashionable, and therefore, to be shunned.
In my mind, nothing could be further from the truth. Britain has always been a multicultural country dating back to the Romans. I can remember in the seventies when Idi Armin literally kicked out 120,000 Ugandan Asians. We took many of them in and settled them to become part of our society. How well that integration worked is another topic of conversation.
We had, of course, people who gathered together under the banner of the National Front and then the BNP and EDL. I believe in any open libertarian society you will always get these groups with what can only be described as a warped ideology.
Conversely, now you have the far left Antifa and Socialist workers groups with equally disturbing thoughts and wishes as to how we should live.
Terminology and labelling are the modern equivalents of marching against groups that you do not agree with. `Far Right`, `snowflakes`, and a more recent one to me `the great unwashed`, are easily attached to groupings via the internet and social media. Even the news channels and newspapers have entered into the fray. They do not hesitate to trip out these labels daily when discussing anything controversial.
Being nationalistic to me envelopes and keeps safe everything that is dear to me, my city, county, country, and of the course then the United Kingdom. I was asked at a recent debate about how I would feel when I cease to be a citizen of the EU. My response was to tell the audience that the EU was an entity and not a country or a nation. I accepted, that at a stretch, as I love Paris and Spain for holidays that I am a citizen of Europe, also as it is the nearest continent to where I live, but I am unashamedly British.
My flag is important to me. Traditionally, in battle, the rallying point is the flag, and regimental colours had to be saved under any circumstances. The flag of any nation is symbolic to the rest of the world. Ours is a standout flag due to our history, and it symbolizes everything we stand for as a nation.
Sad though it is, to record that it is in many quarters seen as an emblem of racism. I do not subscribe to this, neither do I agree that the cross of St. George is in the same genre.
Being proud of the country you live in should be a way of life, as natural as walking. It should be re-enforced in schools and churches and colleges and on the news media and mainstream media. Look at America, travelling there it is common everywhere to see the stars and stripes outside every house and adorned on windows of most vehicles. They swear their allegiance to the flag every morning in schools and colleges. I visited Sea World in Florida years ago; we were not let in the gates until the national anthem had been sung. Visitors old and young sang with gusto with their right hands on their hearts.
We have lost all semblance of this; we have no patriotism instilled or re-enforced. It is almost embarrassing to declare or express your nationalistic patriotism … especially on an individual basis. Look though what happens when the nation has something to celebrate. Last year in the World Cup, England got to the semi-finals, unheard of, but we did. Wow, what an impact. Those who would normally raise their voices in derision at such an outpouring of being “English and proud” were very silent. The happiness and good feeling throughout the country were palpable. People said good morning, smiled and more importantly talked to each other and everyone. The spirit of this nation was truly lifted.
Economic nationalism has been taken over by Globalism. The surrender of our independence of trade to the global outlook will come back to bite us. Brexit may, if truly enacted, be the catalyst of this and could steer the way back to the England we once knew. No, not colonialism nor the days of the old empire way of thinking.
A free modern outward looking country is proud of its heritage and history. If you want a great example of what I am trying to put over, watch the film Love Actually and the speech made therein by Hugh Grant playing the Prime Minister, he is standing up to the rank bullying of the POTUS played by Billy Bob Thornton.
I defy any true patriot not to have the goosebumps and a very big smile when watching that scene. Shame therefore that we do not have strong patriotic leaders or any government that would support this kind of British greatness.
It would need to start with education with a determination to outdo those who would argue black is white for the sake of argument. It will not be an easy sell by any means, but it could be done. Keep the message simple and keep it inclusive … and that message has to be truthful.
Multiculturalism is a great thing; it has a time-proven positivity for the country. Integration is the failure. For full integration, it needs two sides with a will and a want to succeed.
There is nothing wrong with being a nationalist, culturally, economically, and socially. Be proud, be understanding and be British. When did we give up on the Great before Britain? When did we stop giving children an understanding of what it is to celebrate our history and heritage? It has happened within my lifetime!
Could not a change with this go towards solving some of the malaise within our community? The malaise of the lack of respect, truth, and neighbourly and brotherly love. The longer we go down this pathway and allow the culture of nationalism to be watered down and therefore disappear it will be replaced, as it is already being replaced with division, mistrust, and confusion.