Have you ever thought of going to someplace and acting like “first of my name and the protector of the realm, declare myself as the king of this place”?
Well, I think we all have done something like this during our childhood, or if not, then at least you have seen or heard something like this in movies or probably in history.
What if I tell you that someone has done it around 60 years ago and formed a separate country. Yes! it is true, I am talking about Sealand, the world’s tiniest country, is it? read till the end and you will know the answer.
The country of 27 people (as per its official data). It is a self-claimed country approximately 12km from the England coast in North sea.
What actually is Sealand?
During WW2, England built a series of the fort in the north sea in an attempt to defend vital shipping lanes against the Germans. One of the forts called Roughs Tower was erected 12 km off the coast of Suffolk, which later became Sealand.
History of Sealand?
In the 1960s, these forts had been vacated by the government for making them available to Radio DJs trying to meet the growing demand of people for radios. Two so-called radio pirates named Patty Roy Bates and Ronan O’Reilly started occupying Roughs Tower.
Bates seized the fort, Ronan with his crew attempted to take back the fort but Bates and his crew held the fort with guns. After the attack, Bates & his family planned to permanently relocate to Roughs tower.
In 1967, a ship carrying British royal marine ordered Bates to surrender and vacate the tower but Bates refused and established his own nation. on Sep 2nd, 1967, bates declared independence, and the principality of Sealand was born.
Is it really a Country?
In 1968, Bates’s 15-year-old son Michael fired warning shots at workmen who were serving navigational buoy near the platform.
The next time when bates and his son set foot on the mainland of England, they were arrested on weapon charges but they were set free later by the court because the England territorial claim at that time was 3 nautical miles but Sealand was 7 Nautical miles away.
England conceded that Sealand was outside of their jurisdiction, which means Sealand is a country right? well there are some criteria for legitimate nations, 1) Permanent population, 2) A defined territory, 3) A government and 4) Capacity to enter into relations with other states.
Sealand has a permanent population, a defined territory, and a government too but the tricky one is the 4th one, which means whether or not other recognized countries recognize Sealand.
Today, No country recognizes Sealand as a country so therefore, it is not a country but Sealand still proudly stands in the North sea as the world’s tiniest country with its own flag, constitution, and currency.
Fun Fact, In 1987, England extended its territorial water from 3 to 12 nautical miles thus including Roughs Tower within its jurisdiction but Bates’s family still stood by the fact that Sealand is its own sovereign country.
What do you think? wanna visit the Sealand? or thinking to form your own country? let me know in comments!