Inside this week | A plague on your public houses?!

It hadn’t occurred to me before I wrote the headline for our preview of St George’s Day how a red cross on the door will warn many Brits off from entering a pub in the same way that one, albeit without the obligatory white background, would warn villagers living in 14th century England that the occupants of the said house had plague.

Some might say this is apt. I would say generalising about landlords who like their national flag is playing the bigots at their own game, but possibly somehow make room for a quip about St George not even being English.

Or British, or even European, depending on who you trust. Yes, nationalities, and the bad news, for racists and quiz fans at least, is it’s only going to get more complicated. If you’re reading this because of your limited Danish skills (first of all, sorry, we’re not the Guardian or the Washington Post, thank you for your tolerance), it’s probably because you came over here on a breeding programme, the result of which is a bilingual, possibly trilingual child who will over the long-term hugely benefit from the diversity of their upbringing. And they might go on to have quin-lingual kids.

So, national days, what’s the point? Well, in the case of St George, it should be a good chance to remind everyone that the whole of the UK, as is often said in Denmark, isn’t England. It’s a common enough complaint among Brits, but then again, the English did exactly the same until the first half of the 20th century. 

Primarily, it’s a chance for a good-old knees-up. After all, St Patrick not being Irish has never got in the way of a good party. Nationalism is a double-edged sword alright: it brings a lot of colour into our lives, even if those colours do tend to be black and white. 

Elsewhere, it’s a busy week for the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, whose popularity seems to be at an all-time high right now. First off, there was a concert of his music last night, and then next week, there’s a performance dance piece, Men&Mahler, set to his music.