Sir: Paul Howell (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? As for the team outfits sported by many English representative sides: can someone explain why they include blue? Surely the governing bodies of football and rugby union are not claiming English ownership of the Union flag? If they are, then the blue represents the Scottish element of that Union and therefore has no place on an English team kit.
R E McDONALD