GibraltarTimeline: Scotland says "Yes"
OTL equivalent: Gibraltar
"Montis Insignia Calpe" (Latin)
"Badge of the Rock of Gibraltar"
"God Save the Queen" (official)
"Gibraltar Anthem" (local)
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the Iberian peninsula, bordering the Spanish province of Cadiz, Andalusia. It became a territory of Britain after the War of Spanish Secession in 1713. Commonly known as the Rock after the famous Rock of Gibraltar, it is the source of dispute between the United Kingdom and Spain. Gibraltarians have voted in several referendums, with the most recent one in 2006, to remain as part of the UK. Proposals for joint-sovereignty with Spain have been rejected.
See also: History of Gibraltar
During ancient times, what comprised of Gibraltar was known as the Pillars of Hercules. The Moors occupied Gibraltar when majority of the Iberian peninsula was under Muslim rule. Gibraltar, along with the rest of Spain, was later liberated during the Reconquista (718-1492). The Kingdom of Spain then held sovereignty over the Rock.
During the Spanish War of Secession, British forces managed to capture Gibraltar. In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht was signed between Great Britain and Spain. Among the treaty states that Gibraltar will remain in British sovereignty in perpetuity.
Spanish and French forces tried to capture the Rock as American War of Independence broke out. It was the longest siege endured by the British Armed Forces, lasting from June 24, 1779 to February 7, 1783.
Gibraltar saw the use as the economic gateway to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The territory saw important action during the World Wars. In World War II, Nazi Germany tried to convince Francoist Spain to capture Gibraltar which would have the Germans the access to the Atlantic Ocean. Codenamed as Operation Felix, Germany tried to seize the Rock but failed to do so. In 1944, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, Dwight Eisenhower, would set up headquarters at the Rock. After the war, tensions between the United Kingdom and Spain would flare over Gibraltar. The Spanish closed the border during the 1950s and reopened it in 1982. At the height of the Cold War, Gibraltar served as a strategic location for U.S. and NATO warships traveling into the Mediterranean.
The territory recently held a referendum in 2002 and 2006, with the populace voting to remain British.
As the Spanish Collapse Crisis occurred, British forces including the Royal Gibraltar Regiment was placed on high alert just in case of a spillover of the conflict. Authorities increased security in the border crossing in the neutral zone as well as the airport. Spain requested that the United Kingdom "stay out" of the crisis. Nonetheless, the UK supported in favor of Germany's ultimatum to Spain that it will be suspended from the European Union unless a peaceful solution would be found.
On May 5, 2016, the American nuclear submarine USS Florida was harassed by a Spanish Guardia Civil vessel on its way. The Spanish ship crossed the path of the Florida twice. The captain of the submarine requested that the Royal Navy patrol boat HMS Sabre providing escort to fire flares on the Spanish vessel as a warning shot. Only then did the Spanish leave the American submarine, causing a series of diplomatic protests among the Foreign Office and the U.S. Navy.
Spain continues to accuse the United Kingdom of sending supplies to separatists in Catalonia via Gibraltar, something the UK continues to deny to this day.
Defense is the responsibility of the United Kingdom. The British Army has the Royal Gibraltar Regiment as its ground forces in the territory. The Rock serves as a major Royal Navy base in the Mediterranean Sea. Gibraltar also serves as a port-of-call of many NATO warships, namely from France, Italy, and the United States.
The flag of Gibraltar is two colored flag: white on top and red on the bottom with a castle in the middle. In the castle is a key. The castle symbolizes that the Rock is an impregnable fortress while the key symbolizes that Gibraltar plays a role as the "key" to the Mediterranean, as ships pass through the Strait of Gibraltar to transit both Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean.