Using the UK flag to represent “English”

25299127_1585459628235800_5293929341584435576_nThe Language Nerds is a Facebook page that was founded “to host and connect together people who are passionate about language and linguistics.”. I have no issue with that and they have interesting content. I noticed today, however, that they posted an item about gendered nouns in different languages and used the UK flag as the icon for the English language. English does not use gendered nouns.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland includes the two countries Wales and Scotland. The use of the UK flag to represent the English language suggests that it is the only language spoken in the UK. Languages other than English are, however, spoken including Welsh and Gaelic, both of which appear on road signs. I don’t know about Gaelic but Welsh certainly uses gendered nouns. For example mab da = a good son, merch dda = a good woman; y mab = the son, y ferch = the daughter.

 

Y Ddraig Goch

If you wish to withdraw cash (arian parod) from most ATMs in Wales you will be given the choice of using English or Welsh. The UK flag is used on these machines to represent English and the Ddraig Goch is (rightly) used to represent Welsh (Cymraeg).

 

Many Welsh (and English) people are fighting to ensure that the Welsh culture, language and identity are protected.  It is important that national identities are preserved.

Is therflag-england-XLe any reason why the flag of St George (red cross on a white background) could not be used to represent English? It is used to represent England and by supporters of English sports teams etc so why not the English language?

 

 

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