She unfolded another piece of paper. It was a pamphlet. It was headed "From the Mothers of Borogravia!" The mothers of Borogravia were very definite about wanting to send their sons off to war against the Zlobenian Aggressor and used a great many exclamation marks to say so. And this was odd, because the mothers in Munz had not seemed keen on the idea of their sons going off to war, and positively tried to drag them back. Several copies of the pamphlet seemed to have reached every home, even so. It was very patriotic. That is, it talked about killing foreigners.
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
— Samuel Johnson
But if patriotic sentiment is wanted,
I've patriotic ballads cut and dried;
For where'er our country's banner may be planted,
All other local banners are defied!
Our warriors, in serried ranks assembled,
Never quail — or they conceal it if they do —
And I shouldn't be surprised if nations trembled
Before the mighty troops of Titipu!
—Nanki-Poo, The Mikado
"Vertical stripes, horizontal stripes, noughts and crosses, eagles and hammers. Mere arbitrary signs. But every reality to which a sign has been attached is thereby made subject to its sign. Goswami and Ali used to live in peace. But I got a flag, you got a flag, all Baboon-God's children got flags. So even Ali and Goswami got flags; and because of the flags it immediately became right and proper for the one with the foreskin to disembowel the one without a foreskin, and for the circumcised to shoot the uncircumcised, rape his wife and roast his children over slow fires... Our choice is between bread and bunting. And bunting, I need hardly add, is what we have almost unanimously chosen."
—Narrator, Ape and Essence