Sealand: The World’s Smallest “Country”


Isabella Thatcher, Reporter

 Sealand, a micro country built 12 kilometers off the coast of the coast of Suffolk, is one of the world’s most debated territories. 

   Sealand is located on an old British World War II artillery platform in the North Sea. It was built for $977 million, with a size .01 times the Vatican City.

   After the war, a former British Army Major named Roy Bates adopted the platform. Since then, the Bates family has run the territory under the titles of prince, princess, and king.

   To be  considered a nation, one must have a common language, a government, and have the ability to make foreign relations with fellow countries.

   To make people see Sealand as a country, the Bates family declared the territory as a sovereign state in 1967. To this day, however, it is not officially recognized by the United Nations (UN). 

   Sealand ended up establishing a currency with the same economic value as USD, and established constitutional fundamental law.

   The founders claimed that since the British base was originally built illegally outside of British waters during World War II (only being added into the British’s extended territory years later), Sealand should be its own territory.

   In 1978, the territory was able to fend off attacks from outside threats, furthering Sealnd’s supporters’ justification on why Sealand is a country. They claimed that it showed that Sealand had public authority and could follow through with the normal functions of a Nation State.

   The population of Sealand as of 2002 is 27 people. Some people who have lived here are Prince Micheals father, as well as Major Roy Bates.

   Sealand also has a website under the name, where people can buy merchandise to support the country.

   With all this information taken into consideration, the UN refuses to accept Sealand as a country. They claim that there is no land or boundaries, and so it can not be accepted as a country. It is not possible to have a country without land.

   There are also claims that because Sealand sits in British territorial waters, it can not be an independent state.This is despite it only being added into the territorial waters later on.

   Therefore, there has been an ongoing debate between the territories as to whether or not Sealand should actually be considered a country.