St. George
Patron Saint of England and the Scouts

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St. George, pg.1      St. George, pg.2      St. George, pg.3

Saint George, Patron Saint of England and the Scouts

Saint George was born in Cappadocia (in eastern Asia Minor) and died about 303 as a Christian Martyr.  Saint George has been adapted world wide as the saint fighting the evil and defending the good, in the end slaying the dragon (representing the evil). He is the patron saint of England, and also the patron saint of scouts.  Finally, as the Byzantine martyr, he is one of the most important saints of the Christian Orthodox faith. 

  • Romania 1939.  SG # 1420.  Boy Scouts' Fund. St. George Slaying The Dragon.  The stamp is out of a set of ten, all of the same design, but of different colours and face values.

  • England 1951.  King George VI and St. George. 

  • England 1990.  The George Cross (from the set of Gallantry Awards, issued 11th Sept. 1990).   The George Cross is awarded to civilians for outstanding acts of bravery.  The medal shows St. George slaying a dragon (as depicted on gold sovereigns) and bears the legend 'For Gallantry'.  It is the civilian equivalent of the Victoria Cross which is awarded to members of the armed services for conspicuous acts of bravery and bears the legend 'For Valour'.  These two crosses are the nation's highest awards (by the sovereign) and are given only very rarely.  Holders of these crosses are entitled to put the letters GC (or VC) after their name, and these take precedence over all other honours and qualifications, whether awarded by The Queen (or King) or not.  It is easy to remember that the GC is for Gallantry, and the VC for Valour ...

  • England 2001.  On 23rd April England's first pictorial definitives were issued. These follow the Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland sets issued earlier. The 1st-class stamp shown above features the Lion of England holding a shield with the cross of St. George. 

  • England 1929.  King George V and St. George, issued at the occasion of the Universal Postal Union Congress in London 1929.  

In 1222 the Council of Oxford ordered that his feast, on April 23, be celebrated as a national festival, and in the 14th century he became the patron saint of England and of the Order of the Garter,  despite the absence of any historical connection between him and England.  The below set was printed in a se-tenant strip of five.

  • England 1998.  650th anniversary of the Order of the Garter.  The Queen's Beasts.

    • Lion of England and Griffin of Edward III.

    • Falcon of Plantagenet and Bull of Clarence.

    • Lion of Mortimer and Yale of Beaufort.

    • Greyhound of Richmond and Dragon of Wales.

    • Unicorn of Scotland and Horse of Hanover. 

Later Saint George came to be regarded as a model of chivalry, and is represented in the British National Flag, Union Jack, by the intersecting crosses of three of her patron saints:  St. George's Cross (red on white for England), St. Andrew's Cross (white on blue for Scotland), and St. Patrick's Cross (red on white for Ireland).  The crosses represent the union of England with Scotland in 1707, and the union of both with Ireland in 1801.  (The patron saint of Wales, St. David, is not represented in the Union Jack).   

Finally St. George is portrayed on some coins, see particularly the stamp top right from Bermuda. 

Tasmania, in the beginning of the 20th century as part of the British Commonwealth , has used the figure of St. George on revenues in the 19th century.  Today the island, located south of Australia, is part of the Australian Commonwealth whose stamps it now uses. 

  • Tasmania 1901.  Reprints of early revenues from the 19th century, featuring St. George and the Dragon.  The values are 3d, 2/6 sh, 5sh and 10sh.   The first issue of the St. George & Dragon revenues of Tasmania were issued in 1863/70:  3d green (1865), 2/6 carmine (1863), 5/- brown (1864) and 10/- orange (1864).  They exist both imperforate and perforated (by private stamp sellers).  Reprints were produced in 1879, 1889 and 1901.  The set shown here was produced in 1901 as part of Presentation Sets given to Members of Parliament when the Australian states joined together to form the Australian Commonwealth.  There are several sources of further information, and some of the most authoritative ones are "Handbook of Tasmanian Revenue Stamps" by William D. Craig, and "Tasmania, Stamps and Postal History" by W.E. Tinsley, published by The Royal Philatelic Society of London (1986). 


Saint George is also the patron saint of scouts world 
wide, not many, though, featuring St. George.  Below 
and right are shown German issues in the honour of 
the 50th anniversary of the German St. George Guild.

  • Germany 1979.  Saint George Patron Saint of Scouting.  Fifty Years of German Scout Organisations.

  • Germany 1961.  FDC issued 22nd April 1961 for the benefit of the Scout Movement. 

St. George, pg.1      St. George, pg.2      St. George, pg.3

Saint George, Patron Saint of England and the Scouts

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Revised 02 nov 2006 
Copyright © by Ann Mette Heindorff
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