August 5, 2007

Do You Have a Flag?

I got a kick out of the following news story (more underneath)...

Canada on Thursday dismissed Russia's claim to a large chunk of the resource-rich Arctic, saying the tactic was more suited to the 15th century than the real world.

A Russian submersible on Thursday dived beneath the ice under the North Pole and planted a titanium flag on the seabed, staking a symbolic claim as Moscow seeks to extend the territory in the Arctic it controls right up to the North Pole.

"This isn't the 15th century. You can't go around the world and just plant flags and say 'We're claiming this territory'," said Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay.

Why? Because it reminded me of this Eddie Izzard routine (click here for a longer version):

So there was a lot of that, and we built up empires. We stole countries! That's how you build an empire. We stole countries with the cunning use of flags. Just sail around the world and stick a flag in.

"I claim India for Britain!"

And they're going, "You can't claim us. We live here! Five hundred million of us."

"Do you have a flag?"

"We don't need a bloody flag; this is our country, you bastard!"

"No flag, no country! You can't have one. That's the rules... that... I've just made up! And I'm backing it up with this gun... that was lent from the... National Rifle Association."

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