Pa­tri­otic pride flag­ging badly

The People - - NEWS FEATURES -

PA­TRI­O­TISM is be­com­ing a thing of the past for to­day’s young­sters – as only 45 per cent of un­der 25s are proud to call them­selves English.

A Yougov poll found most 18-24 year olds have no pride in their na­tional iden­tity and one in ten are em­bar­rassed by it even though “English­ness” is still con­sid­ered a by­word for tol­er­ance and fair play. It’s be­cause they as­so­ciate the flag of St Ge­orge with far-right fas­cists who try to claim it... some­what iron­i­cally, con­sid­er­ing our pa­tron saint was a mi­grant born to Greek par­ents in Turkey.

And I bet the mil­len­ni­als who feel so un­com­fort­able with their English­ness still en­joy the things that fill the rest of us with pa­tri­otic pride. Like fish and chips, a full English fry-up, tra­di­tional pubs, sar­casm, a nice cuppa, and queue­ing. Ah, no – maybe not queue­ing.

Be­cause new re­search shows it’s bad for your health, es­pe­cially if you’re at the front of a queue.

Ir­ri­tated peo­ple star­ing at your back urg­ing you to hurry raises stress and can in­duce panic, say sci­en­tists.

Ex­cept the peo­ple they stud­ied were Ger­mans.

And that re­minds me of an­other cou­ple of rea­sons for pa­tri­otic pride.

With a cafe! Orange squash and a dough­nut with pre­tend cream in rounded off the day. It was a real treat.

And like mil­lions of Brits, I have loved de­part­ment stores ever since. They’re why we en­joyed the TV series Mr Sel­fridge and still feel nos­tal­gic about Mrs Slo­combe and the Grace Brothers staff in Are You Be­ing Served?

“Ground floor: per­fumery, sta­tionery and leather goods, wigs and hab­er­dash­ery, kitchen­ware and food. Go­ing up…”

Those el­e­gant em­po­ri­ums were the glitzy jew­els in our once-shin­ing high streets. But soon they’ll be dearly de­parted stores and the streets will be full of shut­tered shops as smaller busi­nesses sus­tained by pass­ing trade die too. Be­cause

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