Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory governed from St. Helena, with a local Administrator. An elected Island Council is headed by the Chief Islander.

Tristan Government Home Page

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The Flag of Tristan da Cunha

Pictured left is the Tristan flag which was assigned in a proclamation made on 20th October 2002 by Governor Hollamby under a Royal Warrant granted by Her Majesty the Queen. The flag shows a Tristan longboat above a Naval Crown, with a central shield decorated with four yellow-nosed Albatrosses and flanked by two Tristan da Cunha Spiny Lobster. The flag is a courtesy ensign to be used 'on land and sea'.

Tristan's Government Structure: UK relationship

Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory : one of the remaining former colonies which have not yet asked for independence, and wish specifically to retain their link with the United Kingdom. For Tristan, the link dates back to 1816, when the island was garrisoned by Britain.

Britain, through the Territory's Governor (appointed by and representing HM The King), retains responsibility for external relations, internal security, defence and the Tristan public service.

Government Building

The only 2 storey building on the island (the lower floor houses the Internet Cafe) is sometimes referred to as 'Whitehall' or the 'H'admin Building' and contains the Administrator's Office, Treasury Department, Administration Offices and the Council Chamber where Island Council meetings are held.

Tristan's Government Structure : South Atlantic Government Structure

The Governor (who is also Governor of St Helena) exercises executive authority for Tristan da Cunha. The Governor, who resides in St Helena, appoints an Administrator for Tristan da Cunha.

The resident Administrator is the Head of Government and acts in accordance with advice from the Island Council, composed of eight elected and three appointed members.

The Attorney General, (who is also the Attorney General of St Helena), is responsible for legal matters relating to the Tristan Government. Tristan da Cunha has its own legislation, but the law of St Helena applies to the extent that it is not inconsistent with local law, in so far as it is suitable for local circumstances and subject to such modifications as local circumstances make necessary.

There is one full time police officer and three special constables. In the past, the Administrator has acted as Magistrate, but the appointment is to be transferred to a non-member of the executive or legislative branches of government.

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