In 1992 I saw my first Swedish flag inside a taxi. As my youngest son and I climbed into a Stockholm cab, we noticed a small Swedish flag on the dashboard – one of those wooden craftshop variants that I remember from the birthday parties of my childhood. Inside the taxi this little quaint souvenir takes on a new aura. My son asked innocently, ‘Why have you got a flag up there with you?’ The white-haired taxi-driver turned his head to one side and began to explain, in an amicable manner, that ‘the Swedish flag is the finest thing we’ve got, and it’s something to be proud of’. I tried to keep a straight face, remembering newspaper articles about the new habit adopted by some taxi-drivers in Stockholm: sticking the national flag on their back windows serves to point out that they are not immigrants; they don’t drive ‘kebab taxis’.