"No-one manipulated symbols better than Menzies, including the Australian flag which he made official by an act of parliament without referendum or public debate. In the half century preceding, three flags had flown in Australia’s name in peace and war—the Union Jack, the Defaced Red Ensign and the Defaced Blue Ensign. The Blue Ensign had flown at Gallipoli and on the Somme, the Red Ensign at the liberation of Changi, the Union Jack here and there throughout. Had they been asked to choose between the three officially approved flags of Australia it is likely the people would have chosen, as Menzies did, the Blue Ensign in preference to the red one or the flag of Great Britain. Even if Menzies had offered alternative designs, including some without the Union Jack, Australians probably would have voted for the one that defined them as Australian Britons. But that was 1954."
“Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” - Don Watson
If you look at the paintings of the Australian Federation events, the Red Ensign is usually the dominant flag. Many Australian troops in WW1 and WW2 served under the Red Ensign.
"Australians apologise for themselves by saying that they do not have the 230 million people that the US has, (Keating) said; but ‘they weren’t 230 million when Thomas Jefferson was sitting in a house he had designed for himself in a paddock in the back end of Virginia writing the words, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Human Happiness”’."
— “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” - Don Watson
"From the beginning of the conflict in Croatia, one question above most others has exercised minds inside and outside the country: what causes this depth of hatred which has provoked atrocities and slaughter on such a wide scale over such a short period of time? In retrospect, it seems clear that the wars of the Second World War did not end with Tito. The conflict inside Yugoslavia between 1941 and 1945 assumed such bloody proportions that, were it ever to revive, it was always likely to be merciless. Even for those like myself who have observed not merely the war itself but the dense web of political intrigue that led to it, the extent or nature of the violence is beyond any framework of moral comprehension. Obviously, the conflict has been caused by complex historical and political forces. But the hatred has a slightly different origin. To a large degree, the wars of the Yugoslav succession have been nationalist in character. They are not ethnic conflicts, as the media would often have it, as most of those doing the killing are of the same ehnos. Indeed, what is striking about BiH, in particular, is just how closely related are the Serbs, the Croats and the Moslems."
“The Fall of Yugoslavia”, Misha Glenny
"The great motor behind Serbian nationalist politics is the search for unity. The most powerful example of Serbian iconography is the symmetrical cross adorned with four Cs (the Cyrillic letter S), the two left-hand ones being printed as mirror images. This is an acronym for the phrase ‘Samo Sloga Srbina, Spasava’(Only Unity Can Save the Serb). Most nationalisms are based on the assumption that a state which encompasses all members of one nation can overcome all major social and economic evils. This is a deeply irrational assumption and one which Serbs, more than many nations, unwittingly expose – Serbian society is so deeply riven by provincial rivalry and indeed suspicion, that if the Serbs ever were to succeed in creating a stat which encompassed them all, they would be tearing each other to shreds within minutes."
— “The Fall of Yugoslavia”, Misha Glenny
"Few people who have criticized England from the inside have said bitterer things about her than this gutter patriot (Kipling). As a rule it is the British working class that he is attacking, but not always. That phrase about ‘the flannelled fools at the wicket and the muddied oafs at the goal’ sticks like an arrow to this day, and it is aimed at the Eton and Harrow match as well as the Cup-Tie Final."
— Rudyard Kipling from “Fifty Orwell Essays” - George Orwell
"Patriotism has nothing to do with Conservatism. It is actually the opposite of Conservatism, since it is a devotion to something that is always changing and yet is felt to be mystically the same. It is the bridge between the future and the past."
— The English Revolution from “Fifty Orwell Essays” - George Orwell