The Scots and St George

Today is St George’s Day and many English around the world will come together to celebrate England’s saint day. Despite its focus on celebrating English culture and traditions, express Englishness, however, St George’s Day often brought together migrants from both England and Scotland – and so did St Andrew’s Day. Some of the more recent unease displayed in Scotland towards the celebration of St George’s Day is not evident in the history of the Scottish diaspora abroad.

It was common, for example, that members from St Andrew’s societies would attend St George’s Day banquets, while members of St George’s societies could be found toasting the Scottish patron saint on St Andrew’s Day. In Toronto in 1910, at the 75th Annual Dinner of the St George’s Society, several Scots were certainly …