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Is it true that not all British feel British?

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  • Is it true that not all British feel British?

    Hello everyone.
    Things are slow here at the moment, and I was daydreaming and remembered something that since joining the forum has always interested me.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it true that in the British Isles, Wales, England, Scotland, and northern Ireland not all British Subjects feel British?
    I always assumed they did.
    The subject has been bandied about here, but I'm not sure if we have had a thread for it.
    As an American from the former British Colonies, here is what I think I know...
    • Sean Connery sees himself as a Scotsman first, Briton second? Is that correct?
    • We had someone break the British flag down here, and it was very interesting to see the different sub flags for the different areas and groups of people. While reading the posts, I did sense, not all Britons feel British.
    • The movie Braveheart is on almost weekly here, and I remember someone saying when it played in Scotland, Scots stood up at the end of the movie and began cheering, yelling and so forth. Wow.
    • In closing, do we also include former subjects from the empire, such as Canadians, Australians, Indians etc. The British seemed to be everywhere!
    Britons, do you feel British?
    Last edited by Slug; 14 Jul 07, 19:43.
    "Advances in technology tend to overwhelm me."

  • #2
    Its kind of like Americians saying thy feel Mexician....I feel like I belong the US..done,
    I am a simple man. I am by no means smarter than the average man. I am average...yet genius.

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    • #3
      Interesting thread idea.
      Here's another "Yank" that would like some insight on this. Another perspective to use in the classroom is a great reason for History teachers to belong here.
      My Avatar: Ivan W. Henderson Gunner/navigator B-25-26. 117 combat missions. Both Theaters. 11 confirmed kills. DSC.

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      • #4
        Although I've always been decidedly English, I also always felt British to exactly the same degree. It's odd - the ability to hold two conflicting ideas in one's head at the same time and have them both be true. This was until the other nations began to get their own Governments and devolution arrived courtesy of Mr Blair - now, I feel less "British", even more English than before I think.

        Having said that, I'd still rather fly the Union flag than the English flag which is, frankly, not nearly as interesting - although I have both on my wall.

        Like I say...odd...

        Dr. S.
        Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

        www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

        www.tabletown.co.uk

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Doctor Sinister View Post
          Although I've always been decidedly English, I also always felt British to exactly the same degree. It's odd - the ability to hold two conflicting ideas in one's head at the same time and have them both be true. This was until the other nations began to get their own Governments and devolution arrived courtesy of Mr Blair - now, I feel less "British", even more English than before I think.

          Having said that, I'd still rather fly the Union flag than the English flag which is, frankly, not nearly as interesting - although I have both on my wall.

          Like I say...odd...

          Dr. S.
          Interesting Doc,
          Until Slug came up with this, I hadn't thought much about it. It's still hard to get my puny brain cells around the total topic. I think you have helped.
          Given our textbooks, it's difficult for American students to differentiate between England, Britain, the UK, the Commonwealth, and the Empire. At times I’ve seen “the English” used as a synonym for all of them. It never dawned on me that members of the historic Empire would feel occasionally at odds with their own identification.

          Thanks again for the input. I’d like to hear from as many of you as wish to respond.

          Guess I’m trolling..... for information and understanding.
          My Avatar: Ivan W. Henderson Gunner/navigator B-25-26. 117 combat missions. Both Theaters. 11 confirmed kills. DSC.

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          • #6
            It's true to say that the term "English" is often used incorrectly.

            Eg: A Scottish athlete wins an event in the Olympics, he might be referred to as "English" (not necessarily just by those abroad either, the English themselves like to claim success as their own). This would be wrong however - he's certainly "British" but also "Scottish", but definitely not "English".

            Now, what tends to happen is the nationwide news on the BBC would say "A British athlete won so and so..." whereas the local news where this chap hailed from would say "A Scottish athlete won..."

            Conversely, if an English athlete won something, the BBC would likely say that he was English and not British from the outset. You see the difference there? If he's English, we'll say he's English, if he's from one of the other countries in the union, we'll say British - as if it means the same thing, even though it doesn't.

            Dr. S.
            Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

            www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

            www.tabletown.co.uk

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            • #7
              Let me put it this way, I'll support England against anyone - including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But I'll support the British against anyone.

              Given the way modern society works I guess the old ties that bound us to our nations right or wrong are being loosened. It's become more of a choice than a duty to regard oneself as being anything really. I don't think that's a bad thing.
              Signing out.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                Let me put it this way, I'll support England against anyone - including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But I'll support the British against anyone.
                Yeah, I'd agree with that 100%.

                Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                Given the way modern society works I guess the old ties that bound us to our nations right or wrong are being loosened. It's become more of a choice than a duty to regard oneself as being anything really. I don't think that's a bad thing.
                I'm not so sure about this, there seems to be an ever deepening tide of nationalism within each nation that forms part of the UK. The Scots want out of the Union completely (even though their economy would collapse overnight if this happened), the Welsh have their own parliament too - and now the English are complaining that they are the only ones left without a regional assembly and moaning that Scottish and Welsh MPs get to vote not only on Scottish and Welsh issues, but on issues affecting the entire UK - including England. This leads us to the current situation where we have a Scottish PM holding a Scottish seat passing laws down on the English.

                Theoretically, Robot Gordon Brown could tax the hell out of England with impunity - since his seat in Scotland is safe, the English can never remove him as an MP.

                Sigh...things were so much better before devolution...why did Labour have to go and bugger up a centuries old union?

                Dr. S.
                Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

                www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

                www.tabletown.co.uk

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Doctor Sinister View Post
                  Although I've always been decidedly English, I also always felt British to exactly the same degree. It's odd - the ability to hold two conflicting ideas in one's head at the same time and have them both be true.
                  I'm a Californian and an American.
                  I know I'm a Californian, and I see the flag posted every day, but the feeling is blah.
                  I think my female cousins from New York, are more excited about me being from California than I am.
                  Originally posted by Doctor Sinister
                  Having said that, I'd still rather fly the Union flag than the English flag which is, frankly, not nearly as interesting - although I have both on my wall.
                  I'll bet you a bloater, and some fish and chips from east Los Angeles, that most people aren't aware of this awareness.
                  Originally posted by Doctor Sinister
                  Like I say...odd...
                  I wonder if other countries around the world have this awareness too?
                  Canadiens have provinces for example, and they seem only like Canadiens.
                  But you know, I'm going out on a limb here, if I was a German, and a Prussian, wouldn't that be cool?
                  My point being...
                  Are there people who might have the German and Prussian flag displayed equally because of Prussia's military past?
                  Last edited by Slug; 15 Jul 07, 01:49.
                  "Advances in technology tend to overwhelm me."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Slug View Post
                    I'm a Californian and an American.
                    I know I'm a Californian, and I see the flag posted every day, but the feeling is blah.
                    I think my female cousins from New York, are more excited about me being from California than I am.

                    I'll bet you a bloater, and some fish and chips from east Los Angeles, that most people aren't aware of this awareness.

                    I wonder if other countries around the world have this awareness too?
                    Canadiens have provinces for example, and they seem only like Canadiens.
                    But you know, I'm going out on a limb here, if I was a German, and a Prussian, wouldn't that be cool?
                    My point being...
                    Are their people who might have the German and Prussian flag displayed equally because of Prussia's military past?
                    Slug,
                    From the little I've learned about you, if I was a female living in NY, I'd be happy as h?ll that you lived in CA too.

                    I would agree that, at least here in the Western US, State identity doesn't really amount to much. Some fun jokes about neighboring states, but that's as far as it goes. American seems to be the natural ID we accept. However, I do remember reading that in the Post CW period, many people identified strongly with their County, then their State.

                    Was it S. Foote that said "Before the ACW, people wrote The United States of America are"..... and afterword the common usage became "The United States is..."?
                    My Avatar: Ivan W. Henderson Gunner/navigator B-25-26. 117 combat missions. Both Theaters. 11 confirmed kills. DSC.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by holly6 View Post
                      Slug,
                      From the little I've learned about you, if I was a female living in NY, I'd be happy as h?ll that you lived in CA too.
                      Left himself wide open for that one
                      #occupyarmchairgeneral.
                      Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true. Demosthenes.
                      Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. Laurence J. Peter

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                      • #12
                        I often feel British..certainly when i have drunk gin and attempt to walk the top of the fence line emulating the pitching deck of a frigate. i usually sing sea chantys or old Roger Whittaker tunes and periodicaly give burst to outrageous British oaths like: 'Avast that ...'ye sons of she billy goats, ratsass bastardardos heathens'...stuff like that.

                        then i run out of gin.

                        just thought i'd throw that in.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Doctor Sinister View Post
                          I'm not so sure about this, there seems to be an ever deepening tide of nationalism within each nation that forms part of the UK.
                          I don't know if it's 'nationalism' per se, with all the negativity associated with that concept, more that its easier to express multiple identities whilst remaining part of a whole.
                          ...... now the English are complaining that they are the only ones left without a regional assembly and moaning that Scottish and Welsh MPs get to vote not only on Scottish and Welsh issues, but on issues affecting the entire UK - including England.
                          ... and let's not even mention the Irish .... whoops I already have
                          Signing out.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Doctor Sinister View Post
                            Sigh...things were so much better before devolution...why did Labour have to go and bugger up a centuries old union?

                            Dr. S.
                            Because thats what these blighter's do best? They just bugger up everything they touch.

                            The only good thing that I can think of that they brought in was the NHS, and that was 60 odd years ago.
                            Winnie says
                            ---------------------------------
                            "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

                            It was an Accident."
                            Herr Flick.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by holly6 View Post
                              Slug,
                              From the little I've learned about you, if I was a female living in NY, I'd be happy as h?ll that you lived in CA too.
                              "Advances in technology tend to overwhelm me."

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