LifestyleSealand: Discover the off-coast micronation with its own constitution and currency

Sealand: Discover the off‑coast micronation with its own constitution and currency

Sealand, the smallest principality in the world
Sealand, the smallest principality in the world
Images source: © Licensor | Ryan Lackey

1:57 PM EST, January 22, 2024

Sealand became a refuge for outlaws after its establishment in 1967 by a retired British officer who later crowned himself as its prince. At one point, Sealand even had its own pirate radio station.

Sealand: A City on an Anti-Aircraft Platform

Sealand was initially built as an anti-aircraft platform named Fort Roughs, located around 7 miles off the coast of Harwich in eastern England. Situated in international waters, it doesn't fall under British jurisdiction, though this never stopped Sealand's authorities from broadcasting radio on British wavelengths.

Today, Sealand is a superstructure consisting of two towers connected by a deck. It boasts its own flag, currency, and is a partner member of the Nouvelle Federation-Board, a football federation for teams that aren't affiliated with FIFA. However, Sealand has yet to gain international recognition as an independent state.

The Establishment of Sealand

In 1967, Roy Bates, fleeing British tax authorities, sought sanctuary in a place exempt from British jurisdiction: Fort Roughs, one of the former military platforms. His original intention was to broadcast music. Bates faced legal issues in Great Britain due to operating a radio station without a license since 1965.

After his escape to the platform, Bates declared Fort Roughs as an independent principality and renamed it Sealand.

Despite being accused by British authorities of firing at a British cutter, Bates was acquitted because the incident took place outside British territorial waters. As a result, the ex-soldier fell outside the domain of British law.

The Constitution and Currency of Sealand

In 1975, the constitution of the "Principality of Sealand" was officially proclaimed along with its flag, coat of arms, and an anthem titled "E mare libertas," or "From the sea, freedom." Currently, Sealand operates under a constitutional monarchy with Michael Bates serving as the head of state.

Sealand also has its own currency, the Sealand dollar, minted at the request of Roy Bates. Additionally, Sealand produces its own postage stamps and has a government overseen by Prime Minister Alexander Achenbach, a German lawyer who agreed to accept the position.

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