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Get A Large Static Flag South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
Flag of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Map of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Introduction South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
islands lie approximately 1,000 km east of Falkland Islands and have been under British administration since 1908, except for a brief period in 1982 when Argentina occupied them. Grytviken, on South Georgia, previously a 19th and early 20th century whaling station. Famed explorer Ernest SHACKLETON stopped there in 1914 en route to his ill-fated attempt to cross Antarctica on foot. He returned some 20 months later with a few companions in a limited boat and arranged a successful rescue for rest of his crew, stranded off Antarctic Peninsula. He died in 1922 on a subsequent expedition and is buried in Grytviken. Today, station houses scientists from British Antarctic Survey. islands have large bird and seal populations, and, recognizing importance of preserving marine stocks in adjacent waters, UK, in 1993, extended exclusive fishing zone from 12 NM to 200 NM around each island.
Geography South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
Southern South America, islands in South Atlantic Ocean, east of tip of South America
Geographic coordinates:
54 30 S, 37 00 W
Map references:
Antarctic Region
total: 3,903 sq km
note: includes Shag Rocks, Black Rock, Clerke Rocks, South Georgia Island, Bird Island, and South Sandwich Islands, which consist of some nine islands
water: 0 sq km
land: 3,903 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Rhode Island
Land boundaries:
0 km
NA km
Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
variable, with mostly westerly winds throughout year interspersed with periods of calm; nearly all precipitation falls as snow
most of islands, rising steeply from sea, are rugged and mountainous; South Georgia is largely barren and has steep, glacier-covered mountains; South Sandwich Islands are of volcanic origin with some active volcanoes
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Paget (South Georgia) 2,934 m
Natural resources:
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (largely covered by permanent ice and snow with some sparse vegetation consisting of grass, moss, and lichen) (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
0 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
South Sandwich Islands have prevailing weather conditions that generally make them difficult to approach by ship; they are also subject to active volcanism
Environment - current issues:
Geography - note:
north coast of South Georgia has several large bays, which provide good anchorage; reindeer, introduced early in 21st century, live on South Georgia
People South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
Total Population:
no indigenous inhabitants
note: limited military garrison on South Georgia withdrew in March 2001, to be replaced by a permanent group of scientists of British Antarctic Survey, which also has a biological station on Bird Island; South Sandwich Islands are uninhabited (July 2003 est.)
Government South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
Country name:
conventional long form: South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
conventional short form: none
Dependency status:
overseas territory of UK, also claimed by Argentina; administered from Falkland Islands by a commissioner, who is concurrently governor of Falkland Islands, representing Queen ELIZABETH II; Grytviken, formerly a whaling station on South Georgia, is a scientific base
National holiday:
Liberation Day, 14 June (1982)
adopted 3 October 1985
Legal system:
laws of UK, where applicable, apply; senior magistrate from Falkland Islands presides over Magistrates Court
Diplomatic representation in US:
none (overseas territory of UK, also claimed by Argentina)
Diplomatic representation from US:
none (overseas territory of UK, also claimed by Argentina)
Flag description:
blue, with flag of UK in upper hoist-side quadrant and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands coat of arms centered on outer half of flag; coat of arms features a shield with a golden lion centered; shield is supported by a fur seal on left and a penguin on right; a reindeer appears above shield, and below it on a scroll is motto LEO TERRAM PROPRIAM PROTEGAT (Let Lion Protect its Own Land)
Economy South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
Economy - overview:
Some fishing takes place in adjacent waters. There is a potential source of income from harvesting finfish and krill. islands receive income from postage stamps produced in UK, sale of fishing licenses, and harbor and landing fees from tourist vessels. Tourism from specialized cruise ships is increasing rapidly.
Communications South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: coastal radiotelephone station at Grytviken
Radio broadcast stations:
0 (2003)
Television broadcast stations:
0 (2003)
Internet country code:
Transportation South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
Ports and harbors:
none (2002)
Military South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
Military - note:
defense is responsibility of UK
Transnational Issues South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
Disputes - international:
briefly occupied by military force in 1982 - claimed by Argentina in constitution but declares it will no longer seek settlement by force