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Last modified: 2007-02-24 by rob raeside
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[Sealand flag]  1:1.48  image by Rob Raeside, 10 July 2001

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Sealand is an abandoned World War II anti-aircraft platform in the Thames Estuary. It just outside the UK's 3-mile territorial water limit. In the mid 1960s it was occupied by a British businessman, Roy Bates, and his family. He proclaimed himself Prince Roy and the platform to be the Principality of Sealand. They have had a checkered history: at one point some associates of Prince Roy made an armed occupation of the platform and he had to make an armed counter-coup. The invaders were overwhelmed, tried and sentenced to death for treason. However, the Sealanders decided it would be prudent to commute the sentences to exile and the invaders were released.

Recently the British Home Office (Interior Ministry) issued a statement saying that in the British government's view Sealand remains British territory and that if there are grounds to suspect that its occupants have broken British law action will be taken.

The official site is apparently Another site at is run by Roy Bates' son Michael.

The flag

Principality Flag 

The flag is for general display including commercial and maritime use.

Configuration [from mast edge at left of rectangle outward to right]:

Top left: red triangle: extending from top left outward to 0.97 of total width extending from top left downward to 0.93 of total height.  Bottom right: black triangle: extending inward from lower right edge toward mast to 0.68 of total width extending upward from lower right edge to 0.63 of total height.  Intervening white banner: extending from outer top edge to inner bottom
edge, running top right to bottom left. 

Pantone red 032
Pantone jet black
Pantone opaque white

Above information contributed by the Sealand Bureau of Internal Affairs, 4 December 2001

The Standard

[Sealand flag]  1: 1.48

image supplied by Bureau of Internal Affairs, 4 December 2001

Principality Standard 

The Standard is for display at State occasions and otherwise only according to the Sovereign's pleasure.  It consists of the Principality flag to which is affixed a white rectangular panel bearing the Principality Arms as follows:
Shape: rectangular, aspect ratio [width to height] 1.09.  Dimensions: width: 0.28 of flag width; height: 0.38 of flag height.
Position [from mast edge at left and outward to right]: position from mast edge: to left, 0.06 of total flag width; position from top edge: below, 0.08 of total flag height.

Principality Arms

[Sealand flag]  

image supplied by Bureau of Internal Affairs, 4 December 2001

The nation of Sealand is composed of a steel and concrete platform anchored to the bottom of the sea off the coast of England, not in the Channel but in the North Sea. Once known as Roughs Tower, it was built by the British military in what were then international waters-anywhere beyond 3 nautical miles from the coast-as a defense against Germany during World War II. The fortress is located about 7 nautical miles from shore at 51 53' 40" north latitude, 01 28' 7" east longitude.

The troops abandoned the fort after the war, leaving it legally deserted and abandoned, and easing the way for Englishman Roy Bates and his family to settle there on September 2, 1967. Proclaiming the island his own state, Bates gave the titles of prince and princess to himself and his wife and called his new home the Principality of Sealand.

Prince Roy's sovereignty was contested by the British government in 1968. When Royal Marines were cruising off his "coast," the prince even fired warning shots from the fort's old guns. Soon after, a British court declared it had no jurisdiction outside British territorial waters, thus leaving Sealand its autonomy. Since 1987 English territorial waters have extended from 3 to 12 nautical miles. The principality now has 160,000 citizens, mostly businesspeople who claim secondary citizenship in Sealand but live in their countries of origin.

Additional information about Prince Roy and his nation can be found on Sealand's Web site at A coloured image of the flag flying over Sealand and the coat of arms can be found at
Written by Doroth Lerda for the National Geographic Magazine's Q&A page.
Nicholas Rucks, 19 April 2000

Variants of the flag

[Sealand flag] image by Nicholas Rucks, 19 April 2000

I found a picture of the flag at It is actually the picture published in Clarin (the most important newspaper in Argentina) on April the 15th.

It is different from what Roy Stilling told me, plus it has the coat of arms on it.
Nicholas Rucks, 19 April 2000