There's been a good deal of flag-waving over the last five years about technology-or rather, a certain terror of technology that underlies almost all recent talk of the global avant-garde. Don't be fooled: the cool, clinical praise of the cyborg and the virtual realm is no more than critical bravado. It's an existential machismo in the world of semiotics which forces the contemporary philosopher to ante up, to get theoretically comfortable with an anti-sensual world of possibilities to which we all respond-let's be frank-with profound discomfort. Does this flag-waving about media, Y2K, robotics and biotechnology serve to cover a pervasive, cross-cultural mesh of fear? Or are we waving our surrender to a process we ourselves have set in motion? Let's look at the medium of a flag-the image and its underlying message.