Three in five people want St George’s Day to become a Bank Holiday, a survey has revealed.
However, the research carried out by the University of Huddersfield shows that respondents would not give up an existing day off work in exchange.
Researcher Dr Andy Mycock, who is Reader in Politics at the university, said: “St George’s Day offers a growing number of people an opportunity to celebrate their English identity, though they are less sure how the day should be marked.
“We argue that such uncertainty does not matter as long as people are able to mark St George’s Day in inclusive manner that does not seek to offend others.
“However, support for a public holiday is conditional and many are reluctant to give up existing public holidays to mark their Englishness. It is also clear that St George’s Day lacks sufficient popular appeal to be considered an inclusive English national day for all.”
The survey found that many English people appear happy to switch between an English and British identity and appeared unsure of differences between them.
Also, there are signs of growing resentment against the political and economic dominance of London over the rest of England.
A significant number of respondents expressed a strong affiliation for their northern roots, noting pride in their Yorkshire and local origins, with 20 per cent calling for regional devolution of government.
But most respondents were, however, content with current political arrangements and did not think that the main political parties needed to adopt a more strident English nationalism.
The survey showed that 75 per cent supported the maintenance of the union with Scotland, although family and friendship ties were weakening as fewer Scottish students were studying in England.