The earliest record we have of the Cross of St. George as an English symbol is in an account of the Welsh War of 1277. There is a documentation that the flag of St. George was flown when King Edward I undertook the Siege of Castle Caerlaverock, though the flags of St. Edward and St. Edmund were also flown. This would make sense since Edward the Confessor was patron saint of England at that time.
Richard the Lionheart named St. George as the protector of his army while on crusade in the Holy Land. This greatly boosted St. George as a popular saint in England. In 1348, King Edward III founded two religious colleges: St Stephen’s at Westminster and St George’s at Windsor. By 1350 Henry III raised St. George to Patron saint of England.
We do not know a great deal about St. George’s life, but he is believed to have been a high ranking officer in the Roman officer who died about 303 AD.
Emperor Diocletian had St. George tortured in an attempt to make him renounce his faith in Christ, but his courage carried him through the ordeal. Beheaded and buried in Palestine, his head was later taken to Rome to be interred in a church dedicated to George.
While there are many stories of St. George, the most well-known is about his fight with a dragon. St. George killed the dragon on Dragon Hill in Berkshire, England. It is said that grass will not grow where the blood of the dragon spilled from his body.
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