Straaaaange cases: does a flag make a state?
In honor of Flag Day, today’s straaaaange case is about the fascinating Principality of Sealand, a former World War II sea fort a few miles off the coast of Suffolk, England.
For almost 50 years, the sea fort has been occupied by the family and friends of Paddy Roy Bates, who claim that it is an independent sovereign state. Bates took it over for a broadcast station, and established Sealand as a nation in 1975 by writing a constitution and establishing other national symbols — including its own flag. I love this flag. Can you see why?
Sealand has been described as the world’s smallest nation, but is not officially recognized by any other sovereign state. If you want to go, you’ll have to apply for a visa but don’t hold your breath. Sealand doesn’t have a lot of tourist accommodations.