Monday, February 21, 2011

Smallest Country

By Scott Fisher

HM Fort Roughs, also known, as Roughs Tower, is one of the few World War II installations that was designed by Guy Maunsell. This Tower was also known as His Majesty’s Fort. Fort Rough’s purpose was to guard the port of Harwich, Essex. Fort Roughs later gained fame and became a micronation named Sealand. Sealand, an offshore platform was constructed in 1942 in England consisting of a floating pontoon base with a substructure of two hollow towers. It is located in the North Sea about 6 miles from the coast of Suffolk and 8 miles from the coast of Essex, England. Sealand is the world’s smallest country but may actually be a British government property. The population of the country infrequently exceeds 10 and has an area of only 5,920 square feet. In 1967 Paddy Roy Bates, a radio broadcaster, and his family took over Sealand. Bates proclaimed the island his own state naming it “The Principality of Sealand.” He then bestowed himself the title of Prince and his wife the title of Princess. Around 7 years later Bates proclaimed the Constitution of the Principality followed by the development of the flag, its own anthem, stamps, passports and gold/silver coins. Unfortunately Bates and his son now want to sell the offshore platform and the rights to the stamps. They don’t really know how much Sealand is worth but some sources have estimated around 8 figures.

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