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Media – English anthem

April 2016

Parliament has debated whether English sports fans should have their own national anthem, just as the Welsh sing Hen wlad fy nhadau (Land of my fathers), and the Scots sing Flower of Scotland.

Although the English national anthem Bill is unlikely to get on to the statute books, and has been criticised heavily by sports campaigners and royalists alike, backbencher Toby Perkins called for England to drop God save the Queen. This is despite the Queen being patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Prince Harry being its vice-patron. Prince William is president of the Football Association (FA).

However, quoted in The Times, an insider at the RFU said, ‘There is no appetite to change the national anthem before England matches’.

According to the Daily Mail, Greg Dyke, chairman of the FA, said there was no strong push for change from England fans. However, he added there were fewer British symbols at England matches today. He said, ‘If you look at the film of the 1966 world cup final, all the flags were Union Jacks and now most are the cross of St George’.

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