Forgotten by a country, adopted by an individual and converted into a de facto country – that’s the story of the formation of the smallest nation in the world. Principality of Sealand, which though doesn’t look like a nation, is technically the smallest country in the world.
At first glance, the position of the country looks extremely comic. On top of two pillars which act as a supporting system in the mid-sea, the country is a rectangular piece of land constructed on top of these two pillars.
Preface to the Sealand Country Formation
Sealand was originally built as a mid-sea defence fortress with stationed soldiery for the British army to ward off German air attacks during the Second World War. According to the law stipulations such fortresses could be built in the sea, within a three-nautical mile ambit of the nation building these fortresses. The main purpose behind the construction of these fortresses was to ensure that the important marine navigational routes were protected from enemy raids and air-fire.
Sea land, when compared to the other such fortresses, was built on the eastern part of the coast of England. Nautically, the fortress was located at an ambit of seven miles from the British marine territory. This factor, later on, became the major causation in the resultant creation of the Principality of Sealand.
Following the conclusion of the Second World War, the rest of such fortresses were dismantled while the soldiers serving in them called back. Originally named as Rough Towers, Sealand however, was not dismantled and was well-outside of the stipulation of three-nautical mile ambit.
Taking this factor in account, in the year 1967, a major in the British army, Paddy Roy Bates laid claim to the fortress and re-named it as the Principality of Sealand on the basis of the Roman law of jus gentium – the law of nations. This move led to Roy Bates being titled the Prince and his wife being titled the Princess of the newly-formed principality.
Move Against Sealand Country
The British authorities, after noting these changes, began to formally oppose against the creation of the country in the year 1968. A minor skirmish broke out when the newly appointed ruler of Sea land ordered his troops to fire shots to warn the British naval authorities of a possible military defence stance. The opposition about this existence of the newly created principality by the Britons when taken to court – Chelmsford in Essex – was invalidated because of the fact that the British courts of law had no say in this case, as the geographical position of the country was outside the prescribed marine territory of Great Britain.
Because of such a judgement passed, Sealand country became to be known as a de facto country. De facto, in this context meaning that irrespective of other nations’ lack of acknowledgement of a country’s validity, the country was an independent nation because it was not a part of any country whatsoever.
Location, Currency, Passport, Flag and Present
The Sealand country has often been referred to as being a micronation. Irrespective of the acquired terminology, the smallest country in the world has taken amazing strides amongst the other giants. Covering an area of 550 square miles, Sea land is located in the south of the North Sea. In the subsequent years following its creation, the country has developed its own currency known as the Sealand dollar, where one Sealand dollar is equivalent to one US$.
A national flag to proclaim its international identity and passports complete the ensemble of the country trying to be a part of the other countries spread across the world. The most noteworthy aspect about the Principality of Sealand passport is that there are only 300 such passports that have been issued.
Contemporarily, the nation has equipped itself with internet facilities and all other state-of-the-art technological developments. It has its own laws and rules, based on the British law. With English as its national language, Sea land has evolved into a nation to acknowledge, reckon and contend with.