The Lost Kingdom of Spratly Islands

The Lost Kingdom of the Spratly Islands talks about the least-known micronation "The Kingdom of Humanity."

The issue of preserving one's sovereignty always go hand in hand with the perils of territorial disputes, diplomatic incidents, and even war. History has always been like that as stronger countries bully the weaker and docile ones. It's always been a tug-of-war but what if so many countries are fighting for some "God-forsaken islands" but with a material wealth beyond everyone's imagination - rich marine diversity and black gold - trillion tons of untapped natural gas.

Suddenly, the then-forgotten Spratly Islands became an overnight media sensation for the wrong reason. News headlines are plastered with illegal fishermen taking away endangered marine animals and warships barging in neighboring country's territorial waters. China is claiming everything in the South China Sea are theirs. Malaysia got Sabah from the Philippines and now claiming a huge chunk of islands in the Spratlys. Brunei also want a piece of the pie. Vietnam has built installations in some islands and even had bloody skirmishes with the Chinese in the past. Even far away Taiwan had the nerve to claim these islands as theirs. Now this Russian roulette of some sorts could become a very dangerous diplomatic card game that could lead to armed conflict if politicians from these countries can't sort out a peaceful resolution.

Who is the Real Owner?

Each countries have even placed their history at stake as to who really owns the Spratlys. If the countries involved in this delicate territorial imbroglio and military installations would be built on every island then it would be like the trenches of the Western Front in the harrowing years of 1914-1918. Perhaps a nasty arms race that would further alienate China from the ASEAN would be a dreadful scenario.

Debates will be debates. Vietnam based its claim on the French administration of Indochina prior to their independence. China has a long historical basis for such claims on the island while Taiwan, a successor state of the PRC, also had its claim pinned on that argument. Being a former Japanese colony, islands (then named Shinnan Shoto) were incorporated as part of Taiwan. Malaysia classified the Spratlys as part of Sabah.

We don't have to believe the tall tales of eccentric Filipino adventurer / businessman Tomas Cloma or any form of propaganda and historical fiction but there is this "lost kingdom" of the Spratly Islands that is shrouded in both myth and legend.

What's With The Name?

It was British whaler Captain Richard Spratly who is said to discover the islands when his whaling ship Cyrus South Seaman sighted Spratly Island and Ladd Reef during his expedition on March 29, 1843. Although there have disputes as to who discovered the islands, Richard was credited of the discovery instead of his brother William. A certain Henry, who discovered Mischief Reef in 1791, may have been the discoverer.

The Hydrographic Office described the discovery on "The Nautical Magazine" in 1843:

" 9 h. A.M. a low sandy island was discovered from the masthead, bearing S.E.bE. four leagues. On nearing the beach was visible to the water's edge, the top appearing to be covered with small bushes, and about the height of a Ship's hull, with a black patch dividing the sandy beach in nearly two equal parts to the water's edge... One [of these two dangers ] I call Ladd Reef, after Captain Ladd of the Ship Austen, who appears first to have seen it; the other Spratly's Sandy Island."

Although the islands were already named "Horsburgh’s Storm Island' after captain James Horsburgh, the British Admiralty decided to renamed the group of islands "the Spratly Islands."

"The Kingdom of Humanity"

Years after the islands were named after Richard Spratly, British captain James George Meads explored the South China Sea with his ship Modeste during 1863 to 1879. After claiming the Spratlys and Paracels, he later transferred the rights to his relative Franklin M. Meads, who established the "Kingdom of Humanity on April 1914.

Meads, together with Victor L. Anderson, Charles G. Anderson, William Chaplin, Willis Alva Ryant, Paul Willard, and Walter Hutchinson formed this micronation. He took the title of Chief of State and renamed the South China Sea as Humanity Sea. In fact, he incorporated it in their own constitution:
"The Flag of the Kingdom of Humanity shall be Green, White and Black, in any combination of equal proportion, green for life and white and black for the two sides of every matter -- except the principles and ideals of this Constitution which are symbolized by the green of life upon which this Constitution is founded."
In the subsequent years, there was growing foreign interferrence as the Japanese laid their claims in 1917. During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Navy installed military installations as they occupied the islands for reconnaisance and weather observation.

Franklin Meads eventually transferred his title to Josiah N. Meads in October 1945. A month later, Morton F. Meads became chief of state but it was Willis Alva Ryant who served that position until September 1943. It was said that Morton raised chickens, ducks, and goats and even processed gooney birds for restaurants in Saigon, South Vietnam and Manila, Philippines. Claims from a certain Sultan Songhrati, who lived in Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia), were said to be sold in 1946 to Philippine President Manuel Roxas' sister and later to Morton Meads.

The "Monarchs" of the Kingdom

By proclaiming himself King James I in 1878, Meads claimed the archipelago on behalf of the world's downtrodden and persecuted. The colony on the islands was dedicated to "a peaceful existence far removed from the hostilities that engulfed the world of his time." By the time of King James I's death in 1888, there were said to be "more than 2,000 citizens in the Kingdom."

The "Kingdom" under King George I strived to build diplomatic relations with the colonial powers and neighboring nations in order to legitimize their kingdom in the eyes of the world. It was said that he tried win the support of the French with the handling of the Boags Atoll. He even said to have developed a close relationship with the British under the Treaty of Southwark in 1893. He died on September 29, 1914 as Europe was engulfed by the horrors of the Great War.

King Franklin I ruled from 1914 to 1945 with the two world wars playing a significant role in the kingdom's history. His government was forced out of the islands just like most governments-in-exile during the war. He died in Darwin, Australia on June 12, 1945 leaving Prince Josiah as the next king. Unfortunately, the King-in-waiting, who was hoping for a coronation in Southwark, contracted malaria and died on February 8, 1946. King Morton I started rebuilding the kingdom from the ashes of war from 1946 to 1959.

The Establishment of the "Republic of Morac-Songhreti-Meads"

A rival government was established by Christopher Schneider in September 1959 under the weird name of "The Republic of Morac-Songhreti-Meads." The dispute was resolved with the kingdom and republic merged in September 1963.

They believed that "the extirpation of hypocrisy from the surface of the earth must be done; east is west and west is east and this state wishes to render to the elder the great and good peace of love of the state of Morac-Songhreti-Meads." The seal of the Kingdom of Humanity was the same except the inscription read "East is West and West is East and I Am the Twain That Will Make It So."

Outrageous Private Claims over the Islands

On May 15, 1956, Filipino businessman Tomas Cloma claimed a number of reefs and islands in the Spratlys under the name "Free Territory of Freedomland." In a tense diplomatic situation during that time, Cloma almost provoked an international incident on July 7, 1956 when he presented the Republic of China (Taiwan) with a lowered flag on Itu Aba, which was previously hoisted by the ROC Navy. A landing party from the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) raised their flag on the same island a month later.

As the Republic of China moved to occupy the main island in response, Cloma sold his claim to the Philippine government, which annexed (de jure) the islands in 1978, calling them "Kalayaan."

Another interesting and colorful character who claims to be the Grand Duke of the Principality of Freedomland (not Cloma's Freedomland) was a French swindler named Othmar di Schmieder. Arrested by French police in August 1974, he styled himself as Count Othmar di Schmieder Rocca-Forozata and said that his domain is also called Republic of Koneuwe. Just like bogus micronation rulers before him, described his principality as a group of 74 islands west of Borneo.

Final Thoughts

Whatever happens to the Spratly Islands, a peaceful resolution is important in order to avoid unnecessary show of force. Showing too much expressions of nationalism and xenophobia can bring serious complications among neighboring countries. As for the deluded state of mind of certain individuals who have wild claims that the islands are their private domains, they should think again. They are not your favorite political nuisance Eddie Gil but mentally-challenged replicants hoping to deceive you. Yes, they still do!

Leave the political game to the people who knows how to handle this challenging diplomatic and political mess. 

Spratly Islands. Wikipedia.

Spratly Islands dispute. Wikipedia.

Spratly Islands. FOTW Flags Of The World.

The Republic of Morac-Songhrati-Meads Website

Kingdom of Colonia St John Website

Putative States Spratly Archipelago


  1. Very nice post, JP! I knew there were several "fingers in the pie" in the Spratlys, but I never knew so many nations were vying for this piece of real estate. Very well researched and nicely presented.

    Your last paragraph contains some true words of wisdom. I surely wish my country had not listened to the outright lies of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush and cronies in going to war and spending thousands of lives and a trillion dollars for nothing. What if the world's nations collectively could put just 2 or 3% of their annual military budgets to employment, education, health care/research, environmental rehabilitation/alternative energy, or the peaceful exploration of space? The world would be profoundly changed for the better.

    BTW, check this out (you're on it):

  2. Well I'm really interested in establishing a micronation where I am the dictator for life!

  3. Aside from Philippines and China there are also countries near to the islands like Vietnam and Taiwan that are claiming also the islands. I think Government must do something to stop the territorial dispute between these countries and avoiding this to lead into war.

    Spratly Islands

  4. Hi J.P, enlightening article. I just want to hear from you if you think China should have a claim on those islands, to fish and exploit minerals in the 200 miles EEZ. On the surface it seems China is overstepping it's bounds but I keep telling the China haters China had being in that neighborhood for thousands of years using their junk boats to fish in that big 'lake' and also of course to trade with S E Asia. I say nobody plant flags on those islands until maybe the last century, nobody make explicit claim. The Russian know international rules, they plant their flag under Artic Ocean in 2007 submarine dive to claim that seabed, so no flags, nobody should have exclusive rights to those islands even though it is within the 200 miles EEZ to the anti China countries. Besides if you look at Gibraltar dispute between UK and Spain, the EEZ dispute don't result in dangerous military confrontations, don't you think those Asian nations are a little too narrow in their thinking, perhaps being used by their nationalist politicians? UNCLOS only state 'customary law' so there is diplomatic speak here to make ambiguous statements. This means the average joe think 200 miles EEZ is etched in stone whereas it is still disputed even though China sign on to UNCLOS. What do you think?

    Customary international law are those aspects of international law that derive from custom. Along with general principles of law and treaties, custom is considered by the International Court of Justice, jurists, the United Nations, **and its member states to be among the primary sources of international law.** (emphasized here.)

    The vast majority of the world's governments accept in principle the
    existence of customary international law, although there are many
    differing opinions as to what rules are contained in it.

  5. It is the greed for natural resources and jingoistic nationalism that will drive the countries into conflict I'm afraid...



100,1,1924 summer olympics,1,1936,1,1949,1,2012 olympics,1,2014 aff suzuki cup,1,2016 olympic basketball,2,2019 fiba world cup,2,adobo,1,adolf,1,aff suzuki cup teams,1,afghanistan,1,aguilas,1,ai art,1,al-andalus,4,alan nacorda,1,albinism,1,alcohol,1,alcoholic,1,alejo santos,1,alibata,1,altered timeline,20,alternate history,34,althistory,22,american,2,ancestry,2,ancient filipino,1,andres bonifacio,2,andres bonifacio family tree,1,andres bonifacio genealogy,1,andres novales,1,ang pasko ay sumapit,1,antonio luna,3,articles,1,artificial intelligence,1,artista,4,artistas,3,asian,1,asian games,1,asians,1,ask me,6,athletes,1,automobiles,1,azkals,8,aztecas,1,bacolod city arena,1,balangiga,1,barato sa unang panahon,1,barcelona,1,basketball,11,bayanihan,1,baybayin,1,beauty,1,bells,1,benjie paras family tree,1,berlin,1,beverage,1,biases,1,bill hoyt,1,billy ray bates,1,biopic,1,bisaya,1,black and white,2,black superman,1,bombs,1,border,1,boyfriend-girlfriend,1,brain drain,2,Brazil,1,british,1,british empire,1,brown,1,burger,1,butterfly effect,20,calvin abueva,1,calvin abueva family tree,1,calvin abueva genealogy,1,calvin sweeney,1,campaign ads,1,canonigo family,3,canonigo family history,2,canonigo family tree,4,canonigo genealogy,4,canonigo surname,2,carcar,1,cartago delenda est,1,carthage,1,carthagiensis victoriae,1,cartographic history,1,cat meat,1,catfish,1,ceboom,1,cebu,11,cebu arenas,1,cebu brt system,1,Cebu cinema,1,cebu city,9,cebu coliseum,1,cebu developments,1,cebu hauntings,2,cebu heritage,7,cebu history,32,cebu masterplan,1,cebu megadome,2,cebu mrt system,1,cebu railways,1,cebu shopping malls,3,cebu sports facilities,1,cebu stadiums,1,cebu streets,1,Cebu theaters,1,cebu tourism,1,cebuano,3,cebuano spy,1,cebuano television show,1,celebrity gossip,2,characters,1,chika minute,1,china,2,chinese,4,chinese ancestors,2,chiong veloso family,1,chismis,1,christianity,2,christmas,2,christmas carols,1,christmas in the philippines,3,chronicles,4,Civil War,2,claudio,1,coke go for goal,1,colon obelisk,1,colon street,1,colorized old photographs,3,comic book,2,comic books,1,comics,1,comparison,1,conrado tudtud,1,controversy,1,corrupt politicians,5,costliest typhoons,2,covid-19,1,cuisine,5,culinary trip,2,cultural,1,cultural cringe,1,culture,1,curse,1,dall e,1,dancing sun,1,dante guidetti,1,darna,2,darna ajaib,1,darth vader family tree,1,davao basketball arena,1,davao sports venue,1,david nepomuceno,1,deadliest firecrackers,1,deadliest typhoons,2,december,1,december 7 1941,1,delenda est,1,department stores,1,developments,1,disaster relief,1,disinformation,1,disputed islands,1,dna test,1,dongmakgol,1,drinking culture,1,dutch,1,dynamites,1,dynasty,1,eddie gil,1,election,4,election ads,2,election campaign,4,electioneering,5,elections,6,eleksyon 2016,1,eleksyon 49,1,elena jurado,1,elena jurado ancestors,1,elena jurado family tree,1,elena jurado genealogy,1,elpidio,1,emperor novales,1,enrique of malacca,1,entertainment,2,epal,2,epalism,2,exotic cuisine,1,expatriates,1,fake facebook profiles,1,fake profiles,1,family history,2,family tree,6,famous relatives,1,fashion,1,fear,1,fear factor,1,fears,1,feature,14,featured,6,fernando poe jr,1,fiba olympic qualifying tournament,2,fiba world championship,5,fiba world cup,4,fifa world cup,1,fighter wine,1,filipino,5,Filipino architecture,2,filipino celebrities,1,filipino comics,1,filipino culture,2,filipino diaspora,1,filipino films,1,filipino mall culture,1,filipino nationalism,1,filipino spanish,1,filipino-american,1,filipino-american war,7,filipino-indonesian family,1,filipinos,3,films,3,finding their roots,18,firecrackers,1,fireworks,1,first asian actor in hollywood,1,first touch soccer,2,first touch soccer kits,1,food,7,food trip,3,football,5,football history,6,football league structure,2,football legends,2,football tournament,2,foreign relations,3,foreigners,1,fpj,1,france,1,FTS kits,3,fts15,3,fts15 kits,4,future,1,gabe norwood,1,gabe norwood family tree,1,gabe norwood genealogy,1,gabriel daniel norwood,1,game shows,1,gangnam style,1,gastronomy,4,gaudencio bueno,1,genealogy,8,genie,1,genie of the lamp,1,germans,1,germany,4,gilas,1,gilas pilipinas,11,globalization,1,God Save the Queen,1,goliat,1,gomburza,1,good friday,1,good old days,1,goodbye philippines,1,gossips,3,grandfather paradox,3,Guerrillas,1,guest blogging,3,guest post,3,halalan 2016,1,hamburger,1,han,1,han solo family tree,1,Harry Turtledove,2,hawaii,1,headline,13,henry the black,1,hero,2,hero obsession,1,higugmaa ang dios,1,hilario moncado,1,hipodromo,1,hippodrome,1,hispania,4,historical films,2,historical leaders,2,history,47,history of cebuano language,1,hitler,1,holy week,1,hymns,1,identity thieves,1,imperial manila,1,import,1,independence day,1,indonesian darna,1,indonesian family history,1,indonesian family tree,1,infographics,1,inuman,1,invasion,2,iron sky,1,ispageti,1,italian,1,italians,1,jai alai building,1,jai alai in cebu,1,japan,1,japanese,4,japanese bazaars,1,jeepney,1,jersey,1,jersey number,1,jersey numbers,1,jerseys,1,jesus,1,jim olmedo alapag,1,jimmy alapag,1,jimmy alapag family tree,1,jimmy alapag genealogy,1,jorgensen,2,jose rizal,6,jose rizal family tree,3,jose rizal genealogy,3,jose rizal girlfriends,2,josephine bracken,1,julian daan,1,kahadloki ang dios,1,kalayaan,1,kansas history,1,karaang sugbu,18,karen,1,kasadya ning taknaa,1,killing adolf hitler,1,kingdom of humanity,1,kjc king dome,1,kobe paras family tree,1,komics,1,kontrabida,1,korean,4,korean war,2,koreans,3,koreans in the philippines,1,krag,2,kris,2,language,2,lapulapu,2,learning spanish,1,lebron james ancestors,1,lebron james family history,1,lebron james family tree,1,lebron james genealogy,1,lebrons real father,1,leia organa family tree,1,lito lapid,1,litratista,1,living in cebu,2,london olympics,1,london riots,1,long distance relationships,1,long lost family,4,los extranjeros,1,los tiradores de la muerte,1,lost ancestors,2,lost landmarks,8,louisiana,1,love on the internet,2,luke skywalker family tree,1,luzon lumber,1,mabolo golden era,1,machine learning,1,mactan,1,maharlika pilipinas basketball league,1,malacañang,3,malaysia,1,malditas,2,mall of asia arena,2,malls,1,mampor,1,manila,2,manila men,1,manila xi,1,maniniyot,1,mariano vestil,1,marie josephine leopoldine bracken,1,marites,1,mars ravelo,1,mass hysteria,1,massacre,1,max joseph,1,mba,1,medicinal wines,1,medieval christianity,1,megadome project,1,merdeka,1,mes que un club,1,metro cebu,5,metropolitan basketball association,1,mexicans,1,mexico,1,micronations,1,midjourney,1,military food,1,military ration,1,minda mora,1,mindanao,1,ming dynasty,1,missouri history,1,moa arena,1,money,1,Morac-Songhreti-Meads,1,moro,2,mortal kombat,1,movies,3,mtv,1,mugen philippines,1,mugen pilipinas,1,murang bilihin noon,1,muslim,2,national anthems,2,national basketball association,1,national dish,1,natural disasters,1,nazi,1,Nazi victory,2,NBA,3,negros basketball arena,1,netherlands,1,netherlands east indies,1,nev schulman,1,news misreporting,1,nightmare,1,nippon bazar,1,no hablo espanol,1,north korea,1,nuisance candidates,1,occupied Japan,1,ofw,2,old cebu,25,old documentaries,1,old films,1,old parks of cebu,1,old photographs,3,old plazas of cebu,1,Olympic Games,2,olympic gold medals,1,olympics,2,one hundred,1,online relationships,1,operation,1,overseas filipino workers,2,paduka pahala,1,pagkaing pinoy,1,pandemic,1,pangasinan,1,paputok,1,paracel,1,parallel worlds,3,paras family tree,1,paras genealogy,1,pascual racuyal,1,pasko sa sugbu,1,pasta,1,pastor apollo quiboloy,1,paul john dalistan,1,paul lee,1,paul lee family tree,1,paul lee genealogy,1,paulino alcantara,1,pba,5,pba dleague,1,PBA home away format,2,pba players,4,pbl,1,pcbl,1,pearl harbor,1,peftok,1,penitence,1,penitencial practices,1,perrelos,1,personal,2,pesos,1,Philippine architecture,2,philippine arena,3,Philippine basketball,2,philippine basketball association,8,philippine basketball team,8,philippine cinema,2,philippine election,2,philippine expeditionary force,1,philippine football team,10,philippine history,24,philippine movies,6,philippine politics,5,philippine sports stadium,1,philippine television,1,philippine-american war,4,philippines,25,philippines football league,6,philippines in the olympics,2,philippines-china relations,2,phobia,1,phobias,1,pilate,1,pinoy food,3,pinoys,1,point of divergence,11,political,4,political corruption,6,politics,6,pontius,1,pop culture,3,Portugal,1,portuguese,1,prejudices,2,presidentiables,2,presidential,2,presidential election 2016,2,presidents,4,princess,1,private,1,public transportation,1,pulutan,1,punic wars,1,quirino,1,race relations,2,racism,3,Red Legs,1,religion,1,republic of cebu,1,Republic of Koneuwe,1,rizals chinese ancestors,1,Robert Silverberg,1,robinsons galleria cebu,2,Roma Eterna,1,Roman Empire,1,rome,2,royal ancestors,1,rumors,2,russia,1,sabah,1,samahang basketbol ng pilipinas,2,scarborough shoal,2,scripts,1,sea games,1,seaside city arena,1,segunda katigbak ancestors,1,segunda katigbak descendants,1,seven years war,1,shoutout culture,1,showbiz,1,si goot da wanderpol,1,sick man of asia,1,sidekicks,1,silmido,1,sioktong,1,siomai,1,siomai sa tisa,1,siopao,1,skin color,1,skin tone,1,skin whitening,1,sm arena cebu,1,sm city cebu,1,sm malls,1,sm seaside city,4,sm seaside city arena,2,smart gilas,6,soccer,2,social commentary,2,south korea,1,southeast asian games,1,Soviet invasion of Japan,1,spaghetti,1,spain,6,spanish filipino,1,spanish flu,1,spanish in the philippines,1,spanish language,1,spanish-american war,1,speaking spanish,1,sports,4,sports uniform,1,spratly islands,2,spratly islands dispute,2,st malo,1,stable diffusion,1,star wars family tree,1,Star-Spangled Banner,1,Stephen Curry family tree,1,Stephen Curry genealogy,1,stereotypes,2,street fighter,1,street food,2,sulu sultanate,1,summer,1,superheroes,3,superheroine,1,superpowers,2,supporting actors,1,taegukgi,1,taisho bazar,1,team pilipinas,1,teban,1,telenovela,4,teleserye,4,television,4,television programs,6,television shows,6,territorial dispute,3,The Guns of the South,1,things to do,1,three wishes,1,time travel,2,tomas,1,tomas claudio,1,tourist attractions,1,tourist destinations,1,Trans-Mississippi,1,tv personalities,1,typhoon bopha,1,typhoon haiyan,1,typhoon odette,1,typhoon pablo,1,typhoon rai,1,typhoon yolanda,1,typhoons,2,uk,1,United football league,2,united kingdom,1,united states,4,urban legends,6,urduja,1,us civil war,3,usa,1,valentin santos,1,vehicles,1,vicente rubi,1,video,3,video game,4,video game characters,1,video games,6,villains,1,vino kulafu,1,voc,1,war,8,war in film,1,war movies,1,war on terror,1,warrior princess,1,watusi,1,white,1,white man's burden,1,who do you think you are,9,william grayson,1,willie revillame,1,willing willie,1,wish list,1,women,2,wonder woman,1,world basketball championship,3,world domination,1,world war 2,5,world war one,2,writings,1,written language,1,written scripts,1,ww2,2,wwi,1,wwII,2,
Istoryadista | History Blog | Cebu Blogger: The Lost Kingdom of Spratly Islands
The Lost Kingdom of Spratly Islands
The Lost Kingdom of the Spratly Islands talks about the least-known micronation "The Kingdom of Humanity."
Istoryadista | History Blog | Cebu Blogger
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy Table of Content