Latest Google Doodle flies flag with tribute to St George's Day 2013

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Google are celebrating St George's Day 2013 with a Doodle.

The illustration shows the armour-clad patron saint, lancing a fearsome green dragon, shielding a princess from the monster's clutches. In the mock medieval scene, complete with adorned lettering reminiscent of the Bayeux Tapestry, the knight wears a red and white cape that would later become the St George's Cross - or English flag.

Click here for a gallery of recent Google Doodles

The scene depicted - of Saint George slaying a dragon - is an ancient one that appears throughout history, and was originally thought to have been brought back to England from the East by crusaders in the Middle Ages.

The legend goes that a fierce dragon lived in a lake by a village and that villagers were forced to feed it two sheep every day. When no sheep were available, they had to give their children, using a lottery to decide who should be sacrificed. One day, the king's daughter was drawn from the ballot and led to the lake. As St George passed the lake, he vowed to protect the princess and, after fortifying himself with the sign of the cross, speared the monster. He then returned to the town centre where he converted the citizens to Christianity before slaying the dragon.

The earliest documentation of Saint George the person in England is dated some time in the seventh or eighth century.

Despite him being England's patron saint, and St George's Day being celebrated on there on 23 April every year, St George has no direct relationship with England. He was Greek and became an officer in the Roman army, with the dragon episode placed somewhere in Libya.

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