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A look at the Itty Bitty nations coming to MicroCon 2015

April 10, 2015

Want to be king, queen, president or grand potentate of your very own country? All you really need to do is proclaim yourself as one, come up with a catchy name and make a flag. “Most micronations are one-man shows, to be completely honest with you,” says President Kevin Baugh of the Republic of Molossia,

Baugh organized MicroCon 2015, Saturday’s gathering at the Anaheim (California) Central Library of dozens of small, self-proclaimed nations. Here’s a look at some the more interesting ones.

— The Republic of Molossia. Founded by Baugh and a buddy as teenagers in 1977, it existed mainly in Baugh’s bedroom until he bought 1.3 acres (0.5 hectares) of property in Northern Nevada in 1998 and built a railroad and private phone company. Molossia pays taxes to the United States but likes to think of that as foreign aid. Its creation was inspired by the Peter Sellers comedy “The Mouse That Roared,” about a small nation that declares war on the United States so it can receive foreign aid after it loses.

— Grand Duchy of Westarctica. One of the world’s largest micronations, it encompasses 620,000 square miles (1,600 square kilometers) of the Antarctic, but nobody actually lives there. It was founded in 2001 by His Royal Highness Grand Duke Travis McHenry after he learned no other nation had laid claim to the area. McHenry says he would like to eventually make Westarctica a real country. If he does, he jokes that he’ll probably promote himself from grand duke to king.

— The Kingdom of Vikesland. Located adjacent to picturesque Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba, Canada, it was founded in 2005 by Christopher Barry Joseph Beyette, a TV newsman who prefers to be called King Christopher I. The king says his fascination with micronationalism led him to create the country. He says he’d like to eventually produce a documentary on the micronation movement.

— Royal Republic of Ladonia. Located on a rocky shoreline in southwest Sweden, this micronation came into being as the result of a lengthy legal battle over a gigantic pop-art sculpture made of 70 tons (63 metric tons) of driftwood. After Swedish authorities demanded that it be torn down, artist Lars Vik went to court. After vandals torched it, he built another and went back to court. In 1996 angry supporters declared the site, in a nature preserve, an independent nation. Ladonia claims to have 17,000 citizens now, although none actually live there. It is ruled by Queen Carolyn I, whose coronation took place in 2011 by the disputed sculpture.

— The Grand Duchy of Broslavia. Founded in 2014 in Albuquerque, it is ruled by His Majesty Grand Duke Jacob Felts and lists its capital as Feltasia. Although it has only five citizens, Broslavia claims to have a volunteer military armed with cardboard copies of AK-47s that fire rubber bands. It claims to have recently expanded its territory by annexing the dwarf planet Pluto.

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