Known as the Patron Saint of England, imagery featuring the life of St. George and the ancient tales surrounding him have regularly been featured on a range of printed media throughout the years. Whilst not too much is known about his earlier upbringing, the stories that surround St. George are shared every year on April the 23rd.
Whilst the exact date is not officially known, experts are in agreement that St. George was born at some point during the year 280 in what is now known as the country of Turkey. Beginning life as a soldier, he rose through the ranks of the Roman army to eventually become a personal guard to an emperor known as Emperor Diocletian. After being discovered as being of Christian faith, he was executed on April 23rd, in the year 303 and is said to have been buried in the town of Lod in Israel. Despite the grim nature of his death, St. George has come to be regarded as a hero by some and has become a reference point in many forms of media, including films, books and even art.
The Famous Story
The most famous story that surrounds St. George is his tale of slaying a town-inhabiting dragon. Legend says that the only existing well in a town named Silene was guarded by a vicious dragon. For residents to access any of the water, they would have to offer a human sacrifice in order to appease the dragon, with a different person selected on every occasion. On one of the days in which St. George had decided to visit the town of Silene, a princess had been picked out to be the next sacrifice to the dragon. Upon hearing the princess’s inevitable fate, St. George slayed the dragon with his bladed sword and saved the princess from the dragon. Once defeating the dragon, St. George then gave the people of Silene free access to the water they has been restricted from.
St. George’s Cross
The most common symbol that is associated with is St. George’s Cross, which is found on the flag of England. A red cross placed upon a white background, it was originally the flag of the maritime Republic of Genoa until England began using the symbol on their uniforms during the crusades of the 1100s and 1200s. In the present day, the St. George’s Cross is used as national symbol of England, featuring on the uniforms of the English national football, cricket and rugby teams. Due to its historic association with England, it is also regularly used across a variety of print media to represent the country of England and the patriotism that sometimes surrounds it. The cross now also has a prominent place on the arms of the City of London and is featured on the flags for the City of Barcelona, Spain and the country, Georgia.
This year, St. George’s Day will also be remembered as the birth date of the newest addition to the Royal Family, as the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William are celebrating the birth of their third child taking place earlier today!