Members of the far right have been tricked into wearing a t-shirt that read 'St George was Syrian' on St George's Day.
The anti-hate-crime charity Tell MAMA, which stands for Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks, covertly attended a St George's Day celebration in central London over the Easter weekend.
Unfortunately, this celebration was allegedly attended by members of the far right, who believed that the St George's cross stood for things like 'purity' and not diversity.
It's no secret that despite being the patron saint of England, St George had almost nothing to do with the country as he was of Syrian, Greek, Turkish and Israeli descent and never visited these shores.
In addition, he is also the patron saint of Bulgaria, Palestine, Ethiopia, Greece and Lithuania, so he is hardly exclusive to the English, but it hasn't stopped the St George's cross being appropriated and utilised by the far right.
In an attempt to educate those in attendance at this celebration, Tell MAMA handed out free St George's Day t-shirts, which revealed a secret heat-activated message when worn by someone.
Amazingly a few of those that took the t-shirts were completely oblivious and presumably went about their day promoting a message that they were firmly against.
In a statement about the stunt, a spokesperson for Tell MAMA said:
The St George's cross has become an icon of far-right xenophobia. Somewhat ironic considering St George had Syrian, Greek, Turkish and Israeli heritage.
We distributed t-shirts to far-right nationalists celebrating St. George’s Day. When they proudly donned their new t-shirts, little did they know that their body heat triggered the message to appear.
The prank was executed at St. George’s Day gatherings across London to champion the vital role that immigrants play in shaping our nation and to tackle the dramatic growth of far-right hate.
According to a Home Office report in 2017/18 there were 94,098 hate crime offences recorded by the police in England and Wales, an increase of 17 per cent compared with the previous year.
The director of Tell MAMA, Iman Atta OBE added:
In light of the recent surge in division and hate crime, we wanted to reclaim the St. George’s Cross from those who spread division and celebrate it as a symbol of diversity.
Migrants have shaped our country, from St. George to present day heroes like Mo Farrah, Rita Ora, Malala Yousafzai and Dame Zaha Hadid.
Fly the flag for diversity this St George’s Day.
The stunt has been applauded on social media with many complimenting the group on their inventive way of combatting bigotry and spreading a positive message.