Aisyah Llewellyn, for The Diplomat

The container ship that collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge flew a Singaporean flag, but this is unlikely to play much of a role in the complex legal case to come.

Maritime law is fascinating, yet also exceedingly complex.

The recent collision of a Singaporean-flagged ship with a bridge in Baltimore demonstrates just some of its complexities, and the case looks likely to be one that will take years to resolve.

First, to the background of the incident.

While it is still early, and an investigation is ongoing, it appears that the cargo ship named Dali lost power and was unable to avoid crashing into a pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, catching fire as it did so. The collision, which took place in the early hours of the morning on March 26, is thought to have killed at least seven people working on the bridge, and collapsed the majority of the structure.

In the wake of the devastation, much has been made of the fact that Dali flew a Singaporean flag – the implication being that the collision has precipitated an international incident between the U.S. and Singapore.

But what does a ship’s flag actually mean?

The remainder of the article can be read here at The Diplomat

Aisyah Llewellyn

Aisyah Llewellyn is a British writer based in Medan, Indonesia, and a columnist for The Diplomat.

Feature image: via Wikimedia Commons