There are good reasons for wanting George as your patron saint
Stained glass, All Saints, Horstead, Norfolk
Image Simon K
You like to travel, and so did George. You're adventurous, and George was fond of adventures, too. You rally to hopeless causes, and so did he. You practice - or you enjoy being the recipient - of chivalry. You're at ease despite difficulties because you believe in eternal life. Finally, and not to be sneezed at, George was successful. He slew the dragon and saved both the girl and her city.
St George was known in England as early as the 7th century - he appeared in a stained glass window at the monastery of Jarrow and in the works of Bede - but the English took several centuries to credential him.
First George became the patron saint of English farmers (his Greek name combines the words for land and tilling) and the patron saint of English knights. He was given a feast day at the synod of Oxford in AD 1222. In 1381 the farmers and artisans who marched on London in the Great Revolt marched under his banner.
He was finally recognized as patron saint of England in the 15th century during Henry V's reign and given Shakespeare's stamp of approval 180 years later - "God for Harry, England and St George". Let it never be thought that the English did not thoroughly vet him.
As the patron saint of England, George was "linked by name to beneficent institutions of all kinds, to hospitals and charities as well as churches. . ." (Oxford DNB). Guilds and associations called him their champion, and he was the hero of many plays.
His personal attractions are evident in cheerful pub signs. Some show him reviving with a beer after his encounter with the fiery reptile.
By the late 20th century his name and England's had become almost forbidden names - names that could not be named.
In the early 21st century, Boris Johnson "slew the dragon of political correctness by announcing London would mark St George's Day with a week of celebrations".
George's colours, and England's, are a red Cross on a white ground. His watch words are be not afraid.
Our affection for George and England runs deep. Happy St George's Day!