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18/10/2013 06:55 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

English 'Get Nervous' About Celebrating St George's Day.. But It Would Help If They Knew The Date

St George's day celebrations in Nottingham's Old Market Square.
PA
St George's day celebrations in Nottingham's Old Market Square.

The organiser of a cultural English festival has said people "get nervous" about celebrating St George's Day, despite most being happy to mark other days, such as St Patrick's.

Sunder Katwala, director of co-organiser British Future, which is helping to run the Festival of Englishness, said: "Why shouldn't we be able to celebrate Englishness?

"We're all happy to come together as a nation when there's football or cricket on, so why keep the flags in the drawer for the rest of the year?

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"It's a bit baffling that people in England will happily enjoy a pint of Guinness on St Patrick's Day but then get nervous about celebrating St George's Day too.

"We need to get over it and celebrate Englishness more."

His comments come as a poll shows most English people do not know when St George's Day is, despite the majority of people wanting to celebrate it more.

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An online survey by ICM found only 40% of people were aware the patron saint's day is celebrated on April 23, compared with 70% who said they knew US Independence Day was on July 4.

Two-thirds (66%) said St Patrick's Day on March 17 is now more widely celebrated in Britain.

But the survey of 2,360 British adults, including 1,739 respondents in England, found that three-quarters (76%) would like to see that change.

Fewer than one in three (29%) thought it was because the English don't care, with four in 10 (41%) claiming a lack of a Bank Holiday for St George's Day hampered celebrations.

There was also a majority (61%) who said they would like to see the English flag flown more across the country.

The research comes ahead of the Festival of Englishness celebrating the nation's culture and heritage in London tomorrow.