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According to the apocryphal Acts of St George current in various versions in the Eastern Church from the fifth century, George held the rank of tribune in the Roman army and was beheaded by Diocletian for protesting against the Emperor's persecution of Christians.George rapidly became venerated throughout Christendom as an example of bravery in defence of the poor and the defenceless and of the Christian faith.In 1778 the holiday reverted to a simple day of devotion for English Catholics.The banner of St George, the red cross of a martyr on a white background, was adopted for the uniform of English soldiers possibly in the reign of Richard 1, and later became the flag of England and the White Ensign of the Royal Navy.Because of his widespread following, particularly in the Near East, and the many miracles attributed to him, George became universally recognized as a saint sometime after 900.
But of the man himself, nothing is certainly known.
George was probably first made well known in England by Arculpus and Adamnan in the early eighth century.
The Acts of St George, which recounted his visits to Caerleon and Glastonbury while on service in England, were translated into Anglo-Saxon.
A lesser holiday in honour of St George, to be kept on 23 April, was declared by the Synod of Oxford in 1222; and St George had become acknowledged as Patron Saint of England by the end of the fourteenth century.
In 1415, the year of Agincourt, Archbishop Chichele raised St George's Day to a great feast and ordered it to be observed like Christmas Day.
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Many similar stories were transmitted to the West by Crusaders who had heard them from Byzantine troops, and were circulated further by the troubadours.