From: An Anonymous Irish Reader [Email him]
On recent BBC Northern Ireland question and answer program the Minister For Education there made an observation. Sinn Fein’s John O'Dowd remarked it was important not to underestimate the rising force of English nationalism in England.
Mr. O'Dowd seemed to say this because the conventional, traditional view has been that whilst Scottish and Welsh nationalism are increasing forces in Britain that English nationalism was not.
A worthy observation. Twenty five years ago when England played a football match nearly all the banners in the crowd were union flag banners. Now the English white banner with red cross of St George has supplanted the union banner at England’s matches. [Identity parade: What do flags say about nations – and human nature?, by Michael McCarthy, The Independent, April 23, 2010)..]
Is that just a new fad in populist flag culture at football? No. Its meaning is deeper.
Mr. O'Dowd got it right. His observation is perceptive.
Nationalism and insular nationalism is rising within Britain. Given that the USSR, Yugoslavia, and others have broken up. Given that older nations with older claims to nationhood have emerged from them, wWill the same happen in Britain? Will it be the case that England, Scotland, and Wales will all be fully fledged nation states before the end of this century?
Even before the end of this decade?