[E]ach colony appeared like a detachable piece of a jigsaw puzzle. As this jigsaw’ effect became normal, each ‘piece’ could be wholly detached from its geographic context. In its final form all explanatory glosses could be summarily removed: lines of longitude and latitude, place names, signs for rivers, seas, and mountains, neighbours. Pure sign, no longer compass to the world.
(Uit: Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities, Londen/New York: Verso, 1991, 175)