Letter: Identity crisis

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The Independent Online
Sir: Paul Howell's letter (Sports Letters, 18 February) raises a wider issue than the inspirational effect of what he describes as the 'English anthem'.

The question that should be addressed is not about the musical qualities of the piece, but about England's right to assume the anthem of the Union as their own. Is it that the English as a nation have no particular identity other than as an element of the United Kingdom?

A similar question arises when one looks at the team outfits sported by many English representative sides; can someone explain to me why they include blue? Surely the governing bodies of football and rugby union (to name but two) are not claiming English ownership of the Union flag, and if they are, then the blue represents the Scottish element of that Union and therefore has no place on an English team kit.

Yours faithfully,

R E McDONALD

Upper Norwood

London SE19 3SR.

From Mr C Westwood

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