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Flying the Jersey and Union flags
Is Jersey a Country?
By Will Austin-Vautier
Jersey isn’t part of the UK, Great Britain or Europe – but is it a country in its own right?
How much do you think these definitions apply to Jersey? AND, or maybe BUT - does the uniqueness of Jersey's history and the way that it's constitution has evolved over the centuries mean dictionary definitions such as these are too simple to accommodate our textured past?
So where does Jersey sit in relation to its neighbours and I'm not talking about the length of the ferry journey to Poole!
Visualise, if you would, a map of Northern Europe
As far to the left as Ireland, As high as Norway, as far right as the middle of the North Sea, skirting round and down to St Malo at the bottom.
We know many things about the relationships that are between these large and small lumps of rock that sit within this area of the map.
Wearing a Union Flag hat
Jersey is NOT part of Great Britain. The term Great Britain is the collective name for England Scotland and Wales.
It is NOT part of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom means 'Great Britain and Northern Ireland'.
This is why its official name - which came into use in 1922 - is the United Kingdom.....of Great Britain....and Northern Ireland.
Without wanting to confuse matters, there are many other islands on this area of the map - so why don't they have similarly complex arrangements with their neighbours?
Take out the Isle of Man, take out the Channel Islands (and a small isle of the coast of Ireland) and you are left with many, many landlocked communities which all belong to the Great British countries. For example, the Shetlands and Orkneys are Scottish, Anglesey is Welsh ad the Isle of Wight which belongs to England.
Liberation of Jersey re-enactment
Essentially, the common bond we share with the Isle of Man and the Bailiwick of Guernsey is that we are self-governing, British Crown dependencies - a derivative of this being the term peculiars.
So, bearing this in mind - along with our culture, history, traditions and practices - it is not surprising Jersey is regarded by many as their nation, and their country. A place all of its own.
Have your say
Do you think Jersey should be classed as a nation – should the island have its own national anthem separate to God Save the Queen?
Does it matter whether we’re a nation or not as long as we’re self governing? Should the island be self governing or would you prefer Jersey to be part of England?
last updated: 20/10/2008 at 10:17
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