From Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent Saturday January 14, 2006 The Guardian Brown: Remembrance Sunday should become 'British Day' Chancellor advocates annual celebration to emulate Fourth of July Gordon Brown will propose today that Remembrance Sunday should be developed into a national day of patriotism to celebrate British history, achievements and culture. The chancellor envisages a "British Day", equivalent to the Fourth of July independence celebrations in the United States. Mr Brown's remarks at a Fabian Society conference sponsored by the Guardian represent his clearest attempt yet to flesh out his personal political programme. In his speech Mr Brown will embrace the patriotism of the US, saying: "In any survey our most popular institutions range from the monarchy to the army to the NHS. But think: what is our Fourth of July? What is our Independence Day? Where is our declaration of rights? What is our equivalent of a flag in every garden? Perhaps Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday are the nearest we have come to a British day - unifying, commemorative, dignified and an expression of British ideas of standing firm for the world in the name of liberty." Mr Brown recognises that adding an element of celebration to Remembrance Day - traditionally for mourning Britain's war dead - could be controversial so he is also looking at a new day for Britishness modelled on the celebrations of VE Day. Either way, he believes the British flag needs to be recaptured from the far right. "The union flag should be a British symbol of unity around our values ... and we should assert that the union flag is for tolerance and inclusion." Mr Brown will also give the first clues about his thinking in other areas of policy. He will suggest that: Â· The government should withdraw further from the appointment of judiciary and clergy, even the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury. This follows hints that he accepts the need for a check on the government's right to declare war without parliamentary sanction. Â· Some of the political intensity could be taken from the tuition fees dispute by proposing that students be given extra grants if they agree to serve the community in their gap year before university. Â· A new constitutional settlement should be considered, including handing power to local neighbourhoods and councils. The chancellor's aides believe that a renewed patriotism, celebrating all the elements of modern Britain, is an agenda that the Conservatives cannot readily follow because in their hands it would look backward-looking and even chauvinistic. He will say the centre and the left have failed to understand that the values on which Britishness is based - fairness, liberty and responsibility - owe more to progressive ideas than to rightwing ones. Mr Brown also appears to accept that an elected Lords is not on Mr Blair's third-term agenda: he will say that Lords reform is an issue to which the party must return in a fourth term. Aware that David Cameron has proposed a form of national volunteering service, Mr Brown will seek to reclaim the issue, pointing to his plans in the 2004 budget to encourage youth volunteering first set out in the Russell commission. The English language, he will say, should be made an essential element of citizenship, through mandatory language courses for jobseekers found wanting. Veterans' groups backed the idea of celebrating Britishness, but opposed confusing that with Remembrance Day. John Hawthornthwaite, national chairman of the Royal British Legion, said: "Anything that would dilute what Remembrance Sunday and November 11 stand for would not be welcome. They have been instituted to remember the sacrifices of those who died for our freedom."