7 Simple Steps to Creating Your Very Own Micronation
A micronation is a small, self-proclaimed independent nation or state that has not been recognized by any government.
Follow these seven simple steps and you too can have your very own micronation.
1. Have a Reason
Most micronations are created for one or more of the following reasons:
- self-aggrandizement–For example, the Republic of Molossia is run by “His Excellency President Grand Admiral Colonel Doctor” Kevin Baugh.
- creative self-expression–Artist Lars Vilk created the micronation of Ladonia when the Swedish government threatened to tear down a sculpture he’d built from 70 tons of driftwood.
- passion for a cause–The Conch Republic was created to protest a border checkpoint the government installed between the Florida Keys and the mainland. The checkpoint was meant to curb illegal immigration from Cuba but it mostly caused backups on the highway, hurting the tourist trade in the Keys. The checkpoint was ultimately removed.
- criminal activity–The Dominion of Melchizedek, according to Wikipedia, is a micronation known largely for facilitating large-scale banking fraud.
2. Acquire Some Land
A place to hoist your flag isn’t actually a strict requirement. Some micronations exist only online, and some only in the minds of their creators.
One enterprising young woman found a volcanic obsidian rock while on a hike. She declared it “the mobile embassy of the Ambulatory Free States of Obsidia.” She carries her micronation around in a blue briefcase.
Nevertheless, I want to suggest that any self-respecting micronation needs its own bit of real estate. It doesn’t have to be much:
- The Principality of Sealand is located in a small abandoned World War II sea-fort a few miles off the coast of Suffolk, England.
- The Republic of Molossia has 11 acres in Nevada.
- The Kingdom of Talossa is a second-floor bedroom in Milwaukee. Talossa is Finnish for ‘inside the house.’
Oh, and before you get the bright idea of laying claim to some parcel of outer space, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 forbade such a thing. Not that you have to acknowledge the treaty. The space nation, Asgardia, was founded in October 2016.
3. Form a Government and Draft a Constitution
It’s your country so you can have any form of government you wish. Many micronations, like the Republic of Molossia, are benevolent dictatorships.
It’s Renaissance fair meets model UN, with a healthy dose of political theory. And if you ask them, it’s also plain fun.Jennifer Parker
Your election process can be unusual. When the president of the Republic of Saugeais died, his widow was elected by an applause meter at a party with her citizens.
And your choice of leader can be downright strange. In 2015, the Whangamomona Republic in New Zealand elected their first woman president. Her husband has the title of “First Bloke.” Previous presidents included a man, a goat, and a poodle.
Once you have a government, you will need a constitution. The Republic of Uzupis has a wonderful one. I especially like articles #3–“Everyone has the right to die, but this is not an obligation” and #12–“A dog has the right to be a dog.”
4. Acquire Some Citizens
The Principality of Sealand has a population of four, all members of the Bates family.
Ladonia claims over 15,000 citizens but none of them live within its borders. If you want to be a citizen you just complete an online application. If you want to be part of Ladonia’s nobility, however, you will need to pay $12 to choose your title.
Asgardia, the space nation, encourages earthlings to apply. So far, 575,136 of us have completed the online form and become proud citizens of Asgardia.
Many micronations have their own passports that you can apply for online. The Conch Republic will issue your choice of a citizen’s passport or a diplomatic passport for $100. Yes, really.
5. Set Up Your Economy
The Republic of Molossia has their own currency, the Valora. Valoras look like poker chips (because they are). The value of a Valora fluctuates, tied as it is to the price of Pillsbury Cookie Dough.
Of course if you have a currency, you also need some form of trade. The Republic of Molossia has their own railroad (a toy train) and an online trading company where you use real money to purchase such items as underwear labelled “Property of the Republic of Molossia.”
Taxes in Ladonia are not paid in money. Each citizen is simply expected to contribute their creativity to the world.
6. Brand Your Micronation
This is where you can really let those creative juices flow! At the very least, you will need a flag, a national anthem, and a motto.
Ladonia’s flag is a green cross on an identical green background. Rumor has it that the Ladonia flag was selected because it is what the Swedish flag would look like if it were boiled.
Asgardia’s flag hasn’t yet been chosen. You can click here to ‘like’ your choice of dozens of flag designs. Some of them are quite attractive.
Ladonia has two national anthems. One anthem is the sound of a stone thrown in the water. The other “can be described as a tone poem on the development of Ladonian freedom.”
The Republic of Molossia used the Albanian anthem for 15 years until complaints from Albanian citizens got a little too loud. The new anthem “formerly the anthem of Zaire, is no longer in use and fits our needs nicely,” claims His Excellency Kevin Baugh.
The prize for the best motto of any micronation goes to The Conch Republic’s, “We seceded where others failed!”
7. Be Ready to Defend Your Country
The Republic of Molossia has an active navy. It’s His Excellency Kevin Baugh’s 27 family members in kayaks on Lake Tahoe, squirt guns at the ready.
In some instances, simply the threat of war may be enough to set an offending country on its heels. The Principality of Hutt River declared war on Australia when the government expected the principality to pay taxes like everyone else. As reported, “A few days later, the prince sent official notification that the war was over. There were no deaths, no injuries, and no acknowledgment from Australia that the conflict ever existed.”
Dreamers and poets will always build castles in the sky, but only fools and lunatics will try to live in them.Steven F. Scharff
Beam Me Up, Scotty
A line from a song by Kris Kristofferson has been humming in my brain throughout the research and writing of this post. Rocket to Stardom describes all manner of strange people coming to the singer’s home, gathering outside the fence to audition their unusual talents, while Kristofferson and his family watch them on closed circuit cameras. The line is, “I’ve got a closed circuit circus in my bedroom, and a world full of wackos in the wings.”
What do you think? Are these micronations all in good fun, or have I just devoted time and energy to a world full of wackos? Let me know in the comments below.