nationality. 1.NATION(1).2. The relationship between a citizen of a nation and the nation itself, customarily involving allegiance by the citizen and protection by the state; membership in a nation. • This term is often used synonymously with citizenship. See CITIZENSHIP. 3. The formal relationship between a ship and the nation under whose flag the ship sails. See FLAG STATE .
[Cases: Shipping 2. C.J.S. Shipping § 1.]
“ ‘Nationality’ is a term which has long been used to define the legal relationship between a state and a ship which is authorized by the state to fly its flag…. Discussions in the International Law Commission in 1951 reflected concern that the use of the term ‘nationality’ in reference to ships was misleading as it implied similarity to the term’s use in defining the legal relationship between a state and its citizen. Nonetheless, the term has continued to be the one most often employed in describing the relationship between a ship and its flag state. It is important to realize, however, that in spite of their common names, the legal relationship ascribed to the nationality of ships does differ from that arising from the nationality of natural or juridical persons.” Louis B.
Sohn & Kristen Gustafson, The Law of the Sea in a Nutshell 1–2 (1984).
[Blacks Law 8th]