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Sovereignty/Unclaimed Territory?

Home Forums Research Law and Politics Sovereignty/Unclaimed Territory?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of spark spark 3 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #20204
    Profile photo of new guy
    new guy

    I read somewhere once that flagged ships at sea are considered unclaimed territory of the nation of the flag. Is that true? If so would only federal law apply and not state? Would it be like being an indian nation (as far as level of autonomy) ?

    If no flag flew (or your own) would it be illegal according to maritime law?

    Profile photo of Jeff Chan
    Jeff Chan

    Depends where in the ocean you are. U.S. states claim different territorial waters. California claims 3 nautical miles (nm). Federal is 12 nm. So between 3 and 12 nm, federal law applies, but not state law.

    Not having a flag is treated the same as being a pirate. Pirates are likely to be arrested by any nation, etc.

    Profile photo of spark

    I have been sailing in California waters. I have seen the Orange county sheriff’s department’s vessel several times.

    They have seen me. They came close to talk to me in the harbor. I have no flag. There is no problem.

    That is my experience so far.

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