Samuel Huntington begins his controversial book on ‘civilisational clashes’ (Huntington 1996) with a reflection about flags and cultural identity, retelling an anecdote about an international scholarly meeting in Moscow in 1992, where the Russian hosts had accidentally hung their national flag upsidedown. Signifying uncertainty on the part of the reinvented Russians, who had been Soviets only a couple of years earlier, the event was – in Huntington’s view – about a stage of transition. Further down the page, he notes that ‘more and more the flags are flying high and true’, indicating a return of ethnic nationalism in Eastern Europe after communism (but see Kolstø 2006 for a more complex account).