Principality of Seborga

The Principality of Seborga is a micronation located in the north-western Italian Province of Imperia in Liguria. The principality is in coexistence with, and claims the territory of, the town of Seborga, which is an Italian municipality.

Italiano: Bandiera del Principato di Seborga

The flag of The Principality of Seborga

During the Middle Ages it became part of the feudal holdings of the Counts of Ventimiglia. By 954 it became the property of the Benedictine Monks of Santo Onorato of Lerins. In 1079 the Abbot of this monastery was made a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, with temporal authority over the Principality of Seborga.

On 20 January 1729, this independent principality was sold to the Savoy dynasty’s Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, then ruled by Victor Amadeus II.

The argument for Seborga’s present-day status as an independent state is founded on the claim that this sale was never registered by its new owner, resulting in the principality falling into what has been described as a legal twilight zone.

Subsequently, in 1815, the Congress of Vienna overlooked Seborga in its redistribution of European territories after the Napoleonic Wars, and there is no mention of Seborga in the Act of Unification for the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

Palace of the government

The Palace of the government of Seborga

In the early 1960s, Giorgio Carbone, then head of the local flower-growers co-operative, began promoting the idea that Seborga retained its historic independence as a principality. By 1963 the people of Seborga were sufficiently convinced of these arguments to elect Carbone as their Head of State. He then assumed the self-styled title Giorgio I, Prince of Seborga, which he held until his death in 2009.

Carbone’s status as Prince was confirmed on 23 April 1995, when, in an informal referendum, Seborgans voted 304 in favour, 4 against, for the Principality’s constitution, and in favour of independence from Italy. Carbone reigned until his death on 25 November 2009.

At present, Italy does not recognize the principality and considers Seborga a part of its territory. Italy also has not explicitly challenged the evidence laid out by Carbone due to lack of evidence on their part. Meanwhile the government of Italy provides all services for the citizens of Seborga, which implies the power of Italy over the principality.

In general, Seborgans do not object against Italian governance in the area.They still receive services from Italy and participate in the activities of the Italian government.

See other: Posts on Micronations


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