Our Vote for Brit Motto: Yanks Who Missed the Boat

Cynicism, humor set the tone
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2007 7:14 AM CST
Prince Charles is a serious man, why can't his nation have a serious motto?   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – British leaders are on the hunt for a national motto to stir the civic soul, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The government plans to survey 1,000 Brits to find a phrase that speaks to national pride. "At least we're not French," "Americans who missed the boat" and "Once Great: Britain," were among the more cynical suggestions sent to the BBC and the Times of London.

Because Britain lacks a national founding moment, an all-encompassing motto is "ridiculous," one expert sniffs. One author, trying to be helpful rather than snide, suggests, that "something from Shakespeare might do the trick." Prime Minister Gordon Brown is backing the motto search at a time when nationalism is resurgent in Scotland and Wales.