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View Poll Results: Which icon do you think represents England best? (You can vote for more than one)

Voters
46. You may not vote on this poll
  • Stonehenge

    19 41.30%
  • Jerusalem hymn

    4 8.70%
  • Routemaster bus

    10 21.74%
  • King James Bible

    4 8.70%
  • SS Empire Windrush

    1 2.17%
  • Punch and Judy

    6 13.04%
  • Angel of the North

    3 6.52%
  • FA Cup

    4 8.70%
  • Cup of tea

    34 73.91%
  • Alice in Wonderland

    4 8.70%
  • Spitfire

    9 19.57%
  • Holbein's portrait of Henry VIII

    12 26.09%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Icons of England

  1. #1
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Icons of England

    Come across this article on BBC's Magazine and wondered what our Forum members think of England. The options in the poll are as they appear on the website.
    Stonehenge, the FA Cup and the red Routemaster bus are among England's most popular icons, according to a new poll. But what do the choices say about the English? And what about the rest of the UK?

    To John Major it's warm beer and cricket. To the Sun newspaper it's Jordan's chest and chicken tikka masala.

    England's national identity has long been argued over. Now it's the subject of a new debate partly because - next to its neighbours - it seems a rather vague notion and one which some people have trouble celebrating.

    In Scotland, the answer could be Edinburgh Castle, Loch Lomond or whisky, while the Welsh may pick the Millennium Stadium or the Severn Bridge, and the Northern Irish the Giant's Causeway.

    Nothing infuriates Celts more than the habit of using the words British and English interchangeably. And it could be argued that England's cultural mix makes any single sense of English meaningless.

    But a search for England's most popular icons aims to reflect this complexity. Icons: A Portrait of England is a two-year, £1m cultural project funded by the government which invites the public to nominate the things they cherish most about England.

    It kicks off with a dozen of what it calls "the first marks on the canvas that will be our portrait of England", chosen by leading figures in academia and the arts.

    Alice in Wonderland, a cup of tea and the SS Empire Windrush, which brought 500 immigrants from the Caribbean in 1948, are on the list, which excludes real people.

    Among the 184 nominations which did not make the final 12 are Zippy from Rainbow, the funeral of Princess Diana and the pub.

    People are invited to comment on the nominations and send in pictures or footage to make it into an organic resource which could eventually encompass Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The table will be updated according to the online votes, and the list of official national icons will grow.

    "Englishness has always been problematic because we are a ragbag of influences from all over the world," says Mike Greenwood, commissioning executive of Culture Online, which came up with the idea.

    "What a site like this needs to do is reflect that and not impose an orthodoxy about what Englishness is.

    "It needs to be inclusive, not just mother's apple pie and a Turner landscape, so there is a debate about what Englishness is, and the answer will be different depending on your background."

    The cuppa

    St George was overlooked because he is a symbol and not a genuine cultural artefact with roots in English culture, he says.

    Having the debate will make people think about who they are, what they feel about their nation's culture and how their community fits into society, he says. It's also important because the multi-layered representations of the icons stimulate learning.

    "The fun thing is it will juxtapose something from the National Gallery with something like a cup of tea. That sounds banal. A cup of tea? But then you think about where tea came from.

    "It was produced in China and came on ships like the Cutty Sark, which you can go and visit, and tea was drank out of porcelain and china tea cups, which were the trend at the time. So the icon is the beginning of a journey."

    OTHER FAVOURITES

    Broadcaster Floella Benjamin: Notting Hill Carnival
    Actor Richard E Grant: Piccadilly Circus Tube sign
    Culture Minister David Lammy: red phone box
    Writer Bill Bryson: hedgerows
    Mike Greenwood, Culture Online: Hadrian's Wall
    Author Margaret Drabble: Jigsaw puzzles
    Architect Will Alsop: Cats' eyes on roads
    Gardener Charlie Dimmock: "Mind The Gap"
    Designer Sir Terence Conran: Royal Festival Hall


    Have Your Say: Icons
    The project is not intended to end up as an encyclopaedia transcribed online or a poll to find a winner, like the BBC's Great Britons, he says.

    "The great thing about interactive media is about growing something and building a community of interests and encouraging people to take ownership of it by nominating and commenting. The site is the start of the debate, building content around which more will be added."

    Historian David Starkey has attacked the project as a "quaint and banal list" which attempts to invent something that's not there, because English nationalism is based not on culture but "being best and first".

    But there are unique characteristics to the monarchy, cathedrals and parish churches in England which set them apart from the rest of Europe, says the chief executive of English Heritage, Simon Thurley. And the mill, the warehouse, the terraced house and seaside town have roots in English culture and history.

    "Scarborough, Blackpool, Bognor Regis, Brighton and others are uniquely English. Nowhere else does a combination of a generally wet and cold climate combine architecturally with a love and a fear of the sea as in England," he says.

    But rather than landmark monuments like Big Ben, Durham Cathedral or the Liver building, it is the local manor house, viaduct or pub that most defines our sense of home and our pride in where we live, he believes.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4594660.stm
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  2. #2
    Martian King AimusSage's Avatar
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    I voted Cup of Tea and Stonehenge, but where is Lord Nelson, or the HMS Victory, I would think them more important icons of English history than the spitfire, which is afterall famous for the battle of brittain.
    There is no darkness, there is no light, there is only Lasagne!

  3. #3
    Super papayahed's Avatar
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    I'm embarrassed to say I don't know what some of those things are. FA Cup? SS Empire Windrush?

    I was thinking James Bond.
    Do, or do not. There is no try. - Yoda


  4. #4
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    FA Cup is is the football (Soccer Cup).

    And SS Empire Windrush: http://www.merchant-navy.net/Picture...0windrush.html


    I voted for the things I knew before moving to this country.

    Along with James Bond, the red telephone booth should have been there I think.
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    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
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  5. #5
    The Yodfather Stanislaw's Avatar
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    How about the Tardis???!!!

    oh vell, aside from doctor who, whom was lacking any option on yonder list (maybe a list of british pop culture icons could be cool)

    but anywho: tea, lol, but the spitfire, tis one of the first things I think of.

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    "Faith is, at one and the same time, absolutely necessary and altogether impossible"

  6. #6
    Lady of Smilies Nightshade's Avatar
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    Where's the tower of london?
    Got to say I have no idea what some of this stuff is and I live here!
    Id say mary poppins
    Im going to see the angel of the north as soon as the flood let up in June! This year I mean it

    But no a caup oof tea it has to be, who said it was"the English answer to every crisis" ?
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  7. #7
    Moderator Logos's Avatar
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    I gotta say, disappointed to not see Westminster Abbey , especially with its "Poets Corner" and tomb of the Unknown Warrior not listed.

    It would be my number one pick for iconic representation of the architecture, history, culture, and people of England
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  8. #8
    Lady of Smilies Nightshade's Avatar
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    Big ben tower??
    St pauls cathaderal,
    the thames
    The picture of Queen victoria in mournng, you know the one withe her standing profile to the camera??
    Peter pan?
    Twiggy??
    Princess diana,
    shakespear. keats byron Austen Dickens oliver twist
    Stephen Fry, john cleese who else?? Angela Lansbury.
    My mission in life is to make YOU smile
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  9. #9
    Martian King AimusSage's Avatar
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    Now this is a good example of England's history, made of true English oak, build in 1769. It took part in one of the most important battles of all time, Trafalger, 1805, as the flagship of Admiral Lord Viscount Horatio Nelson.

    There is no darkness, there is no light, there is only Lasagne!

  10. #10
    learning IrishCanadian's Avatar
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    I voted King James Bible because it represents so much history, the monarchy, polotics, and ... for me ... it just makes me think of England. But If Churchill was there I would have voted him hands down!
    Irish poets, learn your trade!
    -Yeats

  11. #11
    now then ;)
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    Ahem....apart from the fact that King James was Scottish.

    I think I would have to vote for the routemaster bus, but I am surprised 1966 aint mentioned at all.
    There once was a scotsman named Drew
    Who put too much wine in his stew
    He felt a bit drunk
    And fell off his bunk
    And landed smack into his shoe
    ~(C) Ms Niamh Anne King

  12. #12
    L'artiste est morte crisaor's Avatar
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    Definitely the music.
    Ningún hombre llega a ser lo que es por lo que escribe, sino por lo que lee.
    - Jorge Luis Borges

  13. #13
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    I agree with almost everyone who pointed out the deficiencies. Here's some more: The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Queens Victoria and Elizabeth, the first of course, Trafalgar Square and Duke of Wellington, conqueror of Napoleon, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Blake, King Henry V (the actual King, not the play), and of course the person who started it all, William the Conqueror.

    And then the geography too: The English Channel, the Lake District.

    And the old institutions: Oxford, Cambridge, Parliament.

    And how we Americans learn about the English, British humor: Monty Python, Benny Hill, etc.

    I think I'll protest the list and not vote.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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  14. #14
    Metamorphosing Pensive's Avatar
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    I dunno what to select. *confused*

    I think that in Virgil post: CAMBRIDGE represents the England best, You know why?

    Because, its my dearest wish to get admission there!
    I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew.

  15. #15
    Lady of Smilies Nightshade's Avatar
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    henry the which???
    only one I know anythig about is henry viii oh and the third if you count looking him up 3 days ago.
    William the conqurer did not start it all what about Bod-bod whats her face, Aurthur, Alfred etc tc
    ? Churchill should be up thre too.
    My mission in life is to make YOU smile
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "The time has come," the Walrus said,"To talk of many things:

    Forum Rules- You know you want to read 'em

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