Colours and flag
Main article: St George's Cross
St George's cross
The "Colours of Saint George", or St George's Cross are a white flag with a red cross,
frequently borne by entities over which he is patron (e.g. the Republic of Genoa and
then Liguria, England, Georgia, Catalonia, Aragon, etc.).
The cross was originally the personal flag of another saint and key Christian figure, St.
Ambrose. Adopted by the city of Milan (of which he was Archbishop) at least as early
as the Ninth century, its use spread over Northern Italy including Genoa. Genoa's patron
saint was St. George and through the flag's use by the vast Genoese trading fleet, the
association was carried throughout Europe.
The same colour scheme was used by Viktor Vasnetsov for the façade of the Tretyakov
Gallery, in which some of the most famous St. George icons are exhibited and which
displays St. George as the coat of arms of Moscow over its entrance.
Tea can refer to any of several different meals or mealtimes, depending on a country's
customs and its history of drinking tea. However, in those countries where the term's
use is common, the influences are generally those of the former British Empire (now the
Commonwealth of Nations). The tea meal can be small or large and used, for example
in the phrase, "to take tea".
Elevenses is a snack that is similar to afternoon tea, but eaten in the morning.
generally less savoury than brunch, and might consist of some cake or biscuits with a
cup of coffee or tea.
 Afternoon tea
Afternoon tea traditionally known as low tea, is a light meal snack typically eaten
between 2pm and 5pm. The custom of drinking tea originated in England when
Catherine of Bragança married Charles II in 1661 and brought the practice of drinking
tea in the afternoon with her from Portugal.
Various places that belonged to
the former British Empire also have such a meal. However, changes in social customs
and working hours mean that most Britons will rarely take afternoon tea, if at all.[citation
Traditionally, loose tea is brewed in a teapot and served in teacups with milk and sugar.
This is accompanied by sandwiches (customarily cucumber, egg and cress, fish paste,
ham, and smoked salmon), scones (with clotted cream and jam, see cream tea) and
usually cakes and pastries (such as Battenberg, fruit cake or Victoria sponge). In hotels
and tea shops the food is often served on a tiered stand; there may be no sandwiches,
but bread or scones with butter or margarine and optional jam or other spread, or toast,
muffins or crumpets.
Nowadays, a formal afternoon tea is usually taken as a treat in a hotel, café or tea shop.
In everyday life, many Britons take a much simpler refreshment consisting of tea and
biscuits at teatime.
While living in Woburn Abbey, Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford, is credited as
the first person to have transformed afternoon tea in England into a late-afternoon meal
rather than a simple refreshment.
Isabella Beeton describes afternoon teas of various kinds: the old-fashioned tea, the at-
home tea, the family tea and the high tea and provides menus.
 High tea
High tea (also known as meat tea
) is an early evening meal, typically eaten between
5pm and 7pm. It is now largely followed by a lighter meal later in the evening.
High tea would usually consist of cold meats, eggs or fish, cakes and sandwiches.
In its origin, the term ―high tea‖ was used as a way to distinguish it from ―low tea‖ or
afternoon tea. The words 'low' and 'high' refer to the tables from which either tea meal
was eaten.
Low tea was served in a sitting room where low tables (like a
coffee table) were placed near sofas or chairs generally. The word high referred to a
table, this one on a dining room table, and it would be loaded with substantial dinner
dishes - meats, cheese, breads, perhaps shepherd's pie or steak and kidney pie.
 Other uses
In many parts of England, particularly the North of England and in many parts of
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, tea is used to mean the main evening meal.
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Significance in popular culture
The clock has become a symbol of the United Kingdom and London, particularly in the
visual media. When a television or film-maker wishes to indicate a generic location in
Britain, a popular way to do so is to show an image of the Clock Tower, often with a red
double-decker bus or black cab in the foreground.
The sound of the clock chiming
has also been used this way in audio media, but as the Westminster Quarters are heard
from other clocks and other devices, the unique nature of this sound has been
The Clock Tower is a focus of New Year celebrations in the United Kingdom, with
radio and TV stations tuning to its chimes to welcome the start of the year. Similarly, on
Remembrance Day, the chimes of Big Ben are broadcast to mark the 11th hour of the
11th day of the 11th month and the start of two minutes' silence.
Superior part of the clock tower.
ITN's News at Ten opening sequence features an image of the Clock Tower with the
sound of Big Ben's chimes punctuating the announcement of the news headlines, and
has done so on and off for the last 41 years. The Big Ben chimes (known within ITN as
"The Bongs") continue to be used during the headlines and all ITV News bulletins use a
graphic based on the Westminster clock dial. Big Ben can also be heard striking the
hour before some news bulletins on BBC Radio 4 (6 pm and midnight, plus 10 pm on
Sundays) and the BBC World Service, a practice that began on 31 December 1923. The
sound of the chimes are sent in real time from a microphone permanently installed in
the tower and connected by line to Broadcasting House.
Londoners who live an appropriate distance from the Clock Tower and Big Ben can, by
means of listening to the chimes both live and on the radio or television, hear the bell
strike thirteen times on New Year's Eve. This is possible due to what amounts to an
offset between live and electronically transmitted chimes since the speed of sound is a
lot slower than the speed of radio waves. Guests are invited to count the chimes aloud as
the radio is gradually turned down.
The Clock Tower has appeared in many films, most notably in the 1978 version of The
Thirty Nine Steps, in which the hero Richard Hannay attempted to halt the clock's
progress (to prevent a linked bomb detonating) by hanging from the minute hand of its
western dial. In the fourth James Bond film Thunderball a mistaken extra strike of Big
Ben on the hour is designated by criminal organisationSPECTRE to be the signal that
the British Government has acceded to its nuclear extortion demands. The gag phrase
"Big Ben! Parliament!" is repeated for comic effect by Chevy Chase in National
Lampoon's European Vacation as the depicted family remains stuck on the Lambeth
Bridge Roundabout. It was also used in the filming of Shanghai Knights starring Jackie
Chan and Owen Wilson, and was depicted as being partially destroyed in the Doctor
Who episode "Aliens of London". An animated version of the clock and its inner
workings were also used as the setting for the climactic final battle between Basil of
Baker Street and his nemesis Ratigan in the Walt Disney animated film The Great
Mouse Detective as well as Peter Pan where Peter lands on the clock before they head
to Neverland. It is shown being destroyed by a UFO in the film Mars Attacks!, by a
prehistoric creature in Gorgo, and by a lightning bolt in the film The Avengers. It is
destroyed on purpose and quite graphically in the movie V for Vendetta and is flooded
in the film Flood. In Reign of Fire, it is destroyed by dragons. The apparent "thirteen
chimes" detailed above was also a major plot device in the Captain Scarlet and the
Mysterons episode, "Big Ben Strikes Again".
During the 2010 General Election the results of the national exit poll were projected
onto the face of Big Ben.
Function and construction
Main article: Theories about Stonehenge
See also: Archaeoastronomy and Stonehenge
In the Mesolithic period, two large wooden posts were erected at the site. Today, they
are marked by circular white marks in the middle of the car park.
Stonehenge was produced by a culture that left no written records. Many aspects of
Stonehenge remain subject to debate. This multiplicity of theories, some of them very
colourful, are often called the "mystery of Stonehenge".
There is little or no direct evidence for the construction techniques used by the
Stonehenge builders. Over the years, various authors have suggested that supernatural
or anachronistic methods were used, usually asserting that the stones were impossible to
move otherwise. However, conventional techniques using Neolithic technology have
been demonstrably effective at moving and placing stones of a similar size. Proposed
functions for the site include usage as an astronomical observatory, or as a religious site.
More recently two major new theories have been proposed. Professor Geoffrey
WainwrightOBE, FSA, president of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and
Professor Timothy Darvill, OBE of Bournemouth University have suggested that
Stonehenge was a place of healing – the primeval equivalent of Lourdes.
that this accounts for the high number of burials in the area and for the evidence of
trauma deformity in some of the graves. However they do concede that the site was
probably multifunctional and used for ancestor worship as well.
indicates that some of the buried individuals were from other regions. A teenage boy
buried approximately 1550 BC was raised near the Mediterranean Sea; a metal worker
from 2300 BC dubbed the "Amesbury Archer" grew up near the alpine foothills of
Germany; and the "Boscombe Bowmen" probably arrived from Wales or Brittany,
On the other hand, Professor Mike Parker Pearson of Sheffield University
has suggested that Stonehenge was part of a ritual landscape and was joined to
Durrington Walls by their corresponding avenues and the River Avon. He suggests that
the area around Durrington Walls Henge was a place of the living, whilst Stonehenge
was a domain of the dead. A journey along the Avon to reach Stonehenge was part of a
ritual passage from life to death, to celebrate past ancestors and the recently
It should be pointed out that both explanations were mooted in the 12th
century by Geoffrey of Monmouth (below), who extolled the curative properties of the
stones and was also the first to advance the idea that Stonehenge was constructed as a
funerary monument. Whatever religious, mystical or spiritual elements were central to
Stonehenge, its design includes a celestial observatory function, which might have
allowed prediction of eclipse, solstice, equinox and other celestial events important to a
Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north
end of the Palace of Westminster in London,
and is generally extended to refer to the clock
or the clock tower as well.
It is the largest four-faced chiming clock and the third-tallest free-
standing clock tower in the world.
It celebrated its 150th anniversary on 31 May 2009,
during which celebratory events took place.
The erecting of the tower was completed on
10 April 1858. The clock tower has become one of the most prominent symbols of both
London and England, often in the establishing shot of films set in the city.
"Heel Stone," "Friar’s Heel" or "Sun-Stone"
The Heel Stone lies just outside the main entrance to the henge, next to the present
A344 road. It is a rough stone, 16 feet (4.9 m) above ground, leaning inwards towards
the stone circle. It has been known by many names in the past, including "Friar's Heel"
and "Sun-stone". Today it is uniformly referred to as the Heel Stone or Heelstone. When
one stands within Stonehenge, facing north-east through the entrance towards the heel
stone, one sees the sun rise above the stone at summer solstice.
A folk tale, which cannot be dated earlier than the seventeenth century, relates the origin
of the Friar's Heel reference.
The Devil bought the stones from a woman in Ireland, wrapped them up, and
brought them to Salisbury plain. One of the stones fell into the Avon, the rest
were carried to the plain. The Devil then cried out, "No-one will ever find out
how these stones came here!" A friar replied, "That’s what you think!,"
whereupon the Devil threw one of the stones at him and struck him on the heel.
The stone stuck in the ground and is still there.
Some claim "Friar's Heel" is a corruption of "Freyja's He-ol" from the Nordic
goddess Freyja and the Welsh word for track. The Heel Stone lies beside the end
portion of Stonehenge Avenue.
A simpler explanation for the name might be that the stone heels, or leans.
The name is not unique; there was a monolith with the same name recorded in the
19th century by antiquarian Charles Warne at Long Bredy in Dorset.
Education in England is overseen by the Department for Education and the
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Local authorities (LAs) take
responsibility for implementing policy for public education and state schools at a
Full-time education is compulsory for all children aged between 5 and 16. Students may
then continue their secondary studies for a further two years (sixth form), leading most
typically to A-level qualifications, although other qualifications and courses exist,
including Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) qualifications, the
International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Cambridge Pre-U. The leaving age for
compulsory education was raised to 18 by the Education and Skills Act 2008. The
change will take effect in 2013 for 16-year-olds and 2015 for 17-year-olds.
provided schooling and sixth form education is free of charge to students. England also
has a tradition of independent schooling, but parents may choose to educate their
children by any suitable means.
Higher education typically begins with a 3-year bachelor's degree. Postgraduate degrees
include master's degrees, either taught or by research, and the doctorate, a research
degree that usually takes at least three years. Universities require a Royal Charter in
order to issue degrees, and all but one are financed by the state via tuition fees, which
are increasing in size for both home and European Union students.
Main articles: Education in England and List of universities in England
Senate House, the administrative centre of the University of London
The Department for Education is the government department responsible for issues
affecting people in England up to the age of 19, including education.
State-run and -
funded schools are attended by approximately 93% of English schoolchildren.
these, a minority are faith schools, primarily Church of England or Catholic. Between
three and four is nursery school, 4 and 11 is primary school, and 11 to 16 is secondary
school, with an option for a two-year extension to attend sixth form college.
Although most English secondary schools are comprehensive, in some areas there are
selective intake grammar schools, to which entrance is subject to passing the eleven
plus exam. Around 7.2% of English schoolchildren attend private schools, which are
funded by private sources.
Standards in state schools are monitored by the Office for
Standards in Education, and in private schools by the Independent Schools
King's College, University of Cambridge
After finishing compulsory education, pupils take a GCSE examination, following
which they may decide to continue in further education and attend a further education
college. Students normally enter universities in the United Kingdom from 18 onwards,
where they study for an academic degree. There are over 90 universities England, all but
one of which arepublic. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is the
government department responsible for higher education in England.
generally entitled to student loans for maintenance.[note 7]
The first degree offered to
undergraduates is the Bachelor's degree, which usually takes three years to complete.
Students are then eligible for a postgraduate degree, a Master's degree, taking one year,
or a Doctorate degree, which takes three.
England's universities include some of the highest-ranked universities in the world; the
University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, the University of Oxford and
University College London are all ranked in the global top 10 in the 2010 QS World
The London School of Economics has been described as the
world's leading social science institution for both teaching and research.
Business School is considered one of the world's leading business schools and in 2010
its MBA programme was ranked best in the world by the Financial Times.
degrees in England are usually split into classes: first class (I), upper second class (II:1),
lower second class (II:2) and third (III), and unclassified (below third class).
The King's School, Canterbury and King's School, Rochester are the oldest schools in
the English-speaking world.
Many of England's better-known schools, such as
Winchester College, Eton College, St Paul's School, Rugby School, and Harrow School
are fee-paying institutions.
Main article: National symbols of England
The Royal Arms of England
The St George's Cross has been the national flag of England since the 13th century.
Originally the flag was used by the maritime Republic of Genoa. The English monarch
paid a tribute to the Doge of Genoa from 1190 onwards, so that English ships could fly
the flag as a means of protection when entering the Mediterranean. A red cross was a
symbol for many Crusaders in the 12th and 13th centuries. It became associated with
Saint George, along with countries and cities, which claimed him as their patron saint
and used his cross as a banner.
Since 1606 the St George's Cross has formed part of
the design of the Union Flag, a Pan-British flag designed by King James I.
The Tudor rose, England's national floral emblem
There are numerous other symbols and symbolic artefacts, both official and unofficial,
including the Tudor rose, the nation's floral emblem, the White Dragon, and the Three
Lions featured on the Royal Arms of England. The Tudor rose was adopted as a
national emblem of England around the time of the Wars of the Roses as a symbol of
It is a syncretic symbol in that it merged the white rose of the Yorkists and
the red rose of the Lancastrians—cadet branches of the Plantagenets who went to war
over control of the nation. It is also known as the Rose of England.
Theoak tree is a
symbol of England, representing strength and endurance. The term Royal Oak alludes to
the escape of King Charles II from the grasp of the parliamentarians after his father's
execution: he hid in an oak tree to avoid detection before safely reaching exile.
The Royal Arms of England, a national coat of arms featuring three lions, originated
with its adoption by Richard the Lionheart in 1198. It is blazoned as gules, three lions
passant guardant or and it provides one of the most prominent symbols of England; it is
similar to the traditional arms of Normandy. England does not have an official
designated national anthem, as the United Kingdom as a whole has God Save the
Queen. However, the following are often considered unofficial English national
anthems: Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory (used for England during the 2002
and I Vow to Thee, My Country. England's National Day is
23 April which is St George's Day: St George is the patron saint of England.
Estaes la letra de ―Good Save the Queen‖:
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.
O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter thine (or her) enemies,
And make them fall:
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.
Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen.
Las siguientes estrofas están actualmente en desuso por considerarse antiguas y con
Not in this land alone,
But be God’s mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world over.
From every latent foe,
From the assassins blow,
God save the Queen!
O’er her thine arm extend,
For Britain’s sake defend,
Our mother, prince, and friend,
God save the Queen!
Lord grant that Marshal Wade
May by thy mighty aid
May he sedition hush,
And like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush.
God save the Queen!
The Flag of England is the St George's Cross (heraldic blazon: Argent, a cross gules).
The red cross appeared as an emblem of England during the Middle Ages and the
Crusades (although originally a white cross on red background) and is one of the
earliest known emblems representing England.
It also represents the official arms of
the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and it achieved status as the national flag of
England during the sixteenth century.
Saint George became the patron saint of England in the thirteenth century, and the
legend of Saint George slaying a dragon dates from the twelfth century.
In heraldry, the Royal Arms of England
is a coat of armssymbolisingEngland and its
Its blazon (technical description) is Gules three lions passant guardant in
pale Or armed and langued Azure,
meaning three identical gold lions with blue
tongues and claws, walking and facing the observer, arranged in a column on a red
background. This coat, designed in the High Middle Ages, has been variously combined
with those of France, Scotland, Ireland, Nassau and Hanover, according to dynastic and
other political changes affecting England, but has not itself been altered since the reign
of Richard I.
Although royal emblems depicting lions were used by the Norman dynasty,
formal and consistent English heraldry system emerged during the 12th century. The
escutcheon, or shield, featuring three lions is traced to King Richard I of England's
Great Seal of the Realm, which initially used a single lion rampant, or else two lions,
but in 1198, was permanently altered to depict three lions passant.
Edward III of England laid claim to the throne of France and quartered the Royal Arms
of England with that of the Kingdom of France.
This quartering was adjusted,
abandoned and restored intermittently throughout the Middle Ages as the relationship
between England and France changed. Since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when
England and the Kingdom of Scotland entered a personal union, the arms of England
and Scotland have been combined in what has now become the Royal coat of arms of
the United Kingdom.
It appears in a similar capacity to represent England in the Arms
of Canada and the Queen's Personal Canadian Flag.
The coat of three lions continues
to represent England on several coins of the pound sterling, forms the basis of several
emblems of English national sports teams,
and endures as one of the most
recognisablenational symbols of England.
When the Royal Arms is in the format of a heraldic flag, it is variously known as the
Royal Banner of England,
the Banner of the Royal Arms,
the Banner of the
King of England,
or by the misnomer of the Royal Standard of England.[note 1]
This Royal Banner differs from England's national flag, St George's Cross, in that it
does not represent any particular area or land, but rather symbolises the sovereignty
vested in the rulers thereof.
The Tudor Rose (sometimes called the Union Rose) is the traditional floral heraldic emblem of
England and takes its name and origins from the Tudor dynasty.