A Map of the Canada / Denmark Border at Hans Island

Canada-Denmark, Hans Island Map.png

A Border Dispute with a Sense of Humor -

Hans Island lies smack in the middle of the Kennedy Channel section of Nares Strait. This places it on the border between Canada's Ellesmere Island and the Kingdom of Denmark's Greenland Territory.

In 1973, a treaty between the two nations plotted 127 points delimiting the agreed upon border. Although the treaty did not connect the dots, points 122 and 123 go right down the center of the island when connected.

Hans Island appears to be of little strategic or commercial interest but this has never stopped nations from starting a tug of war over sovereignty. Luckily, even though there are real emotions, the actions seem to be light hearted, if not satirical.

In 1984, Denmark's Minister of Greenland planted a Danish Flag on the island along with a bottle of cognac.

Canada responded with newspaper headlines announcing, "Canada being invaded" and "Denmark massing troops on Canadian Territory"

Google War

In 2005, a "Google War" was started with individuals from both countries placing ads on Google declaring Hans Island as Canadian or Danish territory.

The ads are no longer live but a Google search today turned up links for, "The Hans Island Liberation Front", "Hands off Hans Island", "Radio Free Hans Island", and the "Free Hans Island from Canadian Oppression" website. The last one is a fun read.

It's nice to see a lingering border dispute happen with a sense of humor.