The Scouting Pages - The Patron Saint of Scouting

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St George

St George's Day is celebrated on the 23rd of April. Saint George is the Patron Saint of England and also the Patron Saint of all Scouts around the world. His flag is the red horizontal cross on a white background and his emblem is a knight slaying a dragon.

The Legend of St George

The legend goes that George was a son of a nobleman in the Roman army, and became a cavalry officer. George became a Christian and decided to leave the army and travel to the palace of the Emperor, Diocletian, to plead with him to stop his cruel persecution of Christians. As he rode on his horse through Sylene (in present-day Libya), he found that one of the cities was plagued by an evil dragon that lurked in a swamp. This terrifying creature could only be pacified by feeding it with human bodies, and every day one of the citizens was chosen by drawing lots and was sacrificed.

The King's own daughter, Cleolinda, was going to be the victim on the day that George arrived. He hurried to help her, even though his only weapon was a spear. With awesome courage he charged on his horse, knowing that he had only one shot at killing the fire-breathing dragon. He succeeded and saved the princess's life.

After talking to George, the grateful King, the princess, and many of the people decided to become Christians. George continued to the Emperor's palace, but Diocletian had him put to death on 23rd April AD303 for his Christian faith.

Why St George?

Why did Baden Powell choose St George to be the Patron Saint of Scouting?

Baden Powell choose St George to be the movements Patron Saint because he the qualities of the legendary Roman soldier; qualities that reflect good Scouting

  • Responsibility
  • Truthfulness
  • Devotion to duty
  • A brave heart
  • A noble spirit
  • Dedication to helping others

ST George at Basingstoke East Scout Districits, St Georges Day 2007