It is, apparently, a matter of some consternation in certain quarters that there is no "E Pluribus Unum" for the official letterheads, no "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" to go on the passports. There is a deeply-held desire to prove some sort of unity between the individual countries that make up Great Britain, despite the inalienable truth that we have, in fact, been giving each other a good shoeing for much of the past few hundred years.
I actually think it's quite nice that we don't have a motto. It's so terribly nouveau, isn't it? Although I am seriously fond of Luxembourg's quaintly existentialist, "We wish to remain what we are".
Before too long, the good readers of the Times were rising to the challenge of putting five words together that somehow denoted our national identity, captured several thousand years of history and talked about who the Britons are. You can perhaps guess at some of the attempts.
To be honest, after the first few I'd lost the will to live, although I did quite like "Britishness cannot be captured in....". Anyway, the Times website is so flaky it tends to crash whenever there's an "a" in the day, so I thought I'd give it a try here instead. Remember, it has to be five words, and say something meaningful.
Who knows, you could soon be reading one of these on the back of a ten pound note:
- One Nation Under Some Pastry
- Being Rather Uncertain Since 1066
- Let's Not Make A Fuss
- Please Form An Orderly Queue
- Forgive Us For Simon Cowell
- You Looking At My Pint?
- Move On Down The Bus
- He's Not Worth It, Darren
- Not Everyone's Like Hugh Grant
- Cod And Chips Twice, Please
- Sorry, Was That Your Foot?