Friday, 21 September 2007

National Motto

Every school and public building in the country will be emblazoned with a new 'national motto' under Gordon Brown's drive to encourage patriotism and Britishness.

Could it be happening...? Could I actually be agreeing with Gordon Brown...?

The 'statement of values' summing up what it means to be a British citizen could even be written on UK passports and birth certificates as a way of engendering a sense of national pride. Ministers want the motto to reflect the national identity and be as commonplace as America's 'In God We Trust' or the French 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity'.

Insiders said the motto will be chosen by a 'citizens' summit' of 1000 people for it to be 'truly representative' of Britishness rather than be imposed by ministers or dreamt up by a team of highly-paid consultants. Members of the public will be asked to come up with five or six word slogans, perhaps based around ideas of fair play or national pride.

I think this is a fantastic idea. I have long thought that British people lack patriotism. How many times do you hear an American say, 'God Bless America'? Americans love their country. How many times do you hear Briton say, 'God Bless Great Britain'? It's about time we all started to believe in our country, and a motto could make some difference in building a sense of national pride.

There are bound to be countless joke mottos that are suggested, but I hope people take this seriously.

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