Sports Letters: Song for the century

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The Independent Online
Sir: Glenn Moore's report 'Football tackles musical yobbery at Wembley' (11 October) states that Scottish and Welsh rugby crowds boo England's national anthem. The anthem which has been booed at Murrayfield is not the English but the anthem of the United Kingdom. By making this mistake Mr Moore falls into the trap which has previously been encountered by other members of the media, namely using English and British as synonyms.

This is also seen at England matches in a number of sports where Union flags are waved instead of St George's flags. It is also evident in many commentaries where teams representing the UK are referred to as English and when England teams are referred to as 'we' and 'us' on national - that is UK-wide - broadcast media.

Surely the time has come for all four UK member nations to have their own anthems and for there to be a new United Kingdom anthem which reflects the multi-cultural nature of our late 20th century democracy. The current anthem, which is no more than forelock-tugging in the direction of an unelected Head of State, is almost as much of an anachronism in 1994 as the Monarchy itself.

Yours faithfully,

NIALL J G GARVIE

London W5

11 October

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