Old Countries

Frequently Asked Questions

What countries are included on this website?
On this site, I've included pages on "countries" that used to exist (however briefly) some time between 1900 and today, but which aren't in existence any more...  although technically they're not really all countries!  My rather inaccurate terminology also includes colonies, overseas territories and federations, etc.  In effect, my definition of "country" is any political territory that is either a sovereign nation, or that belongs to (and usually not physically connected to) a sovereign nation.
   It's all a bit complicated, and I quite possibly haven't been totally consistent - please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions.

Why not go further back than 1900?
I decided to have a cut-off date to limit the information on this site, as otherwise it would be unmanageable.  Perhaps when I've finished writing all the stuff on the 20th and 21st centuries I may go further back...
   1900
is a fairly arbitrary date, but I chose it for a number of reasons, firstly because it is a nice round figure.  Also, before 1900 the concept of countries with defined borders and administration was quite vague in some parts of the world, and information from before the 20th century is not easily available.
 

Where does my information come from?
Mostly from scouring the internet.
   The three most useful sites that I use are: Wikipedia which seems to have information on practically everything; Ben Cahoon's excellent World Statesmen site; and the enormous Flags of the World (FOTW) site.
   Of course there have been inconsistencies in the information.  Where there's doubt as to a particular date, for example, I've usually gone with what the majority of sources have said (I don't always blindly trust Wikipedia!
).  Where in real doubt I have tried to remain vague.
   I'm absolutely sure that the information in Old Countries contains inaccuracies.  If you spot anything wrong, then please let me know!

Which flags do I use?
The majority of flags have been taken from the Flags of the World website.  Since most countries have used many flags throughout their existence, I have as a rule shown the one that they were using when they ceased to exist, even if this is not the most well known or the longest-serving flag.

Why aren't there any maps on this site?
I haven't got round to it... maybe one day there will be. 

Who am I and why am I doing this?

My name is Dan Haigh and I have a fairly unnatural interest in political geography which probably stems from being bought an atlas when I was small.   Developing this site is just a hobby really to keep me out of mischief.  It's more for my own benefit than anyone else's, but please let me know if you like it, hate it, or if you have any comments or suggestions.  Cheers!

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