Who is the "Saint George"?
Many people associate Saint George with slaying the dragon and some know him as the patron saint of England. But very little is actually known about George's life and what is fact versus legend.
It is believed that George was born sometime between 275 AD and 281 AD and was raised with Christian beliefs. George was a soldier by vocation, serving in the Roman Army under Emperor Diocletian. When the pagan Emperor starting persecuting Christians, George resigned his position in the Army and professed his Christianity. For this he was tortured and killed in 303 AD at Lydda in Palestine. George became a symbol of courage and bravery to Christians during this period. In 494 AD George was canonized as a saint by Pope Gelasius.
In the twelfth century George was recognized as the patron saint of soldiers who fought in the Crusades. His shield became a symbol of national pride in England and was adapted into their national flag. In 1347 King Edward II declared George the patron saint of England. The white shield with a red cross is also the basis for the Episcopal Church's seal and flag. Saint George's Day is celebrated on April 23 each year.
The legend of George and the dragon dates back to the twelfth century (middle ages) when a story appeared in a manuscript, The Golden Legend. The story is about a dragon that terrorized a town and was only appeased by human offerings. When the king's daughter was chosen as the next offering, George bravely captured and then slayed the dragon. In this story the dragon represents the devil/evil, and the daughter stands for God's holy truth. Saint George was the brave soldier who confronts and slays the devil/evil.