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Redonda (Antigua and Barbuda)

Last modified: 2004-07-31 by dov gutterman
Keywords: antigua | barbuda | antigua and barbuda | redonda |
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Kingdom of Redonda

In 1865 Mathew Shiel, an Irishman devoted to the transportation,claimed this island, which in that era was not belonging to any country, for himself as kingdom. His son Philippe Shiel, born some months before, was proclaimed as king Philippe I. Short time afterwards, the British declared the island as their possesion and incorporated it into Antigua (1872) and the claim of the Shiel was forgotten. When king Philippe I grew up, he claimed the throne but didn't not adopt a flag. He died in 1947 and order the succession to the poet John Gawsworth (John I). John I resigned in 1966 (with effects in 1967) in favour of Arthur John Roberts, but on the death of John I in 1970s the crown was claimed by John Wynne-Tyson (John II). In 1984 he was recognized as king by the "noble" Cedric Boston (Cedric I) and after an agreement, in 1989, William Gates acceded to the throne.

by Jaume Olle'

The first flag was adopted by John I in 1949.

by Jaume Olle'

The first flag held until 1980, when it was modified to a queerly similar design to the Flag of the National Geographic Society remaining the previous flag as personal standard. Mc Meekin says that this flag was preserved as Personal standard of the king after 1980 (probably until 1997) but the currunt king said that is wrong. The flag that was adopted in 1980 was created as Royal standart and no "state flag" existed. (royal standart is considered de facto the state flag). This is the second flag 1980 - 1997 according to Mc Meekin.

by Jaume Olle'

However, the arrangement of the stripes is wrong and must be (according to the king) BLUE-GREEN-MAROON.

by Jaume Olle'

In 1997 royal standart and (de facto) state flag was changed by H.M. King Robert the Bald. The design was changed and Coat of Arms added.
Jaume Olle', 28 October 2000

Antonio Martind asked: "Why the shades of green, red and brown are different on these two images?"
Mainly the difference is because that in the old one I used the shades according to an image in my archives of the flag of National Geographic (image in McMeeking book is of course b/w with international color code at the side), and the new image is according the later version that was submited to the king. As I said the Reported (Probably Wrong) Flag is not according to any flag known to the king, but I assume that if was a small mistake of Mc Meekin in the shaddes and must be in fact the same as in the later flag.
Jaume Olle', 11 November 2000

King Leo's Flag

by Jaume Olle'

Redonda is a desert islet of 1.6 square km (only 1.3 according to Encyclopaedia Universalis) belonging to Antigua-and-Barbuda.
The Kingdom of Redonda was proclaimed on July 1865 by the Irish negociant Matthew Dowdy Shiel from Montserrat. He celebrated on Redonda with a group of friends the birth of his first son (and his ninth child). Rhum helped him to proclaim himself King of Redonda. The King abdicated on 21 July 1880 and his son Matthew Philip was crowned as King Felipe by the bishop of Antigua. The young King moved to London where he became a successful novelist, and never saw again Redonda. When he died in 1947, the young poet John Gawsworth became Juan I of Redonda and created an "intellectual aristocracy", giving nobless titles to famous artists such as Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, Dorothy Sayers and Dirk Bogarde. Juan I rapidly bankrupted (once again because of alcoholic beverages) and tried to sell Redonda to a member of the Swedish royal family, the transaction being cancelled by the British authorities. He finally gave the title to Juan II (Artur John Robert), who himself gave him to the current King Leo V, the history teacher William Leonard Gates. The Court lives in exile in London and meets in the Fitzroy Tavern, Guiness being the official beverage of the Court. The Kingdom release stamps, The Times of Redonda (official gazette). The motto is 'Floreat Redonda!' (May Redonda flourishes!)
There are at least five competitors to Leo V, including Robert I who wants to use the rock as a naturists' camp and an American who wants to proclaim the Republic.
The flag is horizontally divided blue-white-blue (2:1:2) with a golden crown in the upper blue stripe.
Source: Bruno Fuligni in Franciae Vexilla #16/62, December 1999.
Ivan Sache , 19 December 1999

I remember having read in FlagMaster (?) about a quite different Redonda flag, although with the similar "micronational" tone: IIRC, it is rather horizontal blue, green and brown...
Antonio Martins , 20 December 1999

The flag reported by Vexilla Francia a is absoltely unknown to the current king. In a comunication he describe the flag that as very close that the one I reported (but order of stripes was changed three years ago by Decree of the king). He also explain about the name of the North point of the island, that is named Anton Gaudi Point, from the genial architec born in Reus
Jaume Olle', 23 October 2000

There are various pretenders for the kingdom of Redonda and that is why various flags exist. This flag is King Leo's flag.
Bruno Fuligni (author of "L’Etat c’est moi" [ful97]), 12 January 2004

Coat of Arms (?)

by Jaume Olle'