The English Flag "What Should They Know Of England Who Only England Know?"
by Rudyard Kipling

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"What Should They Know Of England Who Only England Know?"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Rudyard Kipling's nationalism and patriotism knew no bounds. The occasion for "The English Flag" was an incident recorded in the Daily Papers. "Above the portico a flagstaff, bearing the Union Jack, remained fluttering in the flames for some time, but ultimately when it fell the crowds rent the air with shouts, and it seemed to see significance in the incident." Kipling answers by telling what the Four Winds say about the grandeur of the British Empire. Each Wind–North, South, East, and West–extols the glory of England, their theme being that only those who are familiar with the far-flung Empire really understand the true power of England.

Winds of the Worlds, give answer! They are whimpering to and fro–
. . .
And what should they know of England who only England know?–