New York native Zaq Landsberg is reported to have taken a four-acre parcel of land he purchased for $610 on eBay and declared it to be the sovereign nation of Zaqistan.
“The conceptual goal is I want to become a real country. I mean, that goal is not going to happen. It’s impossible, but [I’m] going through the motions, trying to make that happen,” Landsberg was quoted with regard to the nation of Zaqistan by People.
Landsberg seems to indicate that he understands that the United States probably isn’t about to cede a section of the Utah desert to a new country with a fanciful name.
“Out here, it’s not that crazy of an idea to have your own little spot, and to do your own thing and to have your own space and the privacy to do that,” the Zaqistani President was quoted.
Zaqistan is reported to have its own passports, border gate, supply bunker, and hand stamp for entry and exit. Of course, Zaqistan has a flag as well. In 2012, the Zaqistani flag flew proudly outside of the country’s Argentinian embassy, likely home to an esteemed Zaqistani delegation of diplomats.
The land that comprises Zaqistan is reported to be isolated and dry. Zaqistan is a two mile hike from the nearest road and 50 miles from the closest services. For this reason, President Landsberg is reported to “hesitate” when asked to reveal its exact location.
Zaqistan, of course, is not the first sovereign mirco-nation to be declared in the world, or even the United States. Sometimes individuals declare a piece of land to be a new country for fun, sometimes they do it to make a political or other point.
A group of Florida Keys residents declared a portion of the islands to be a sovereign nation, known as The Conch Republic, in 1982, in response to a United States Border Patrol blockade, according to the group’s website. Key West residents were protesting the fact that they had to produce identification and go through border crossing procedures each time they visited the Florida mainland. The group understood that their declaration had no real meaning, as Landsberg seems to with Zaqistan, but the people of the Florida Keys certainly sent a message. The Conch Republic reports that it celebrates its sovereignty each year.
A portion of the gulf coast of Florida is said to be claimed by the British West Florida micro-nation, according to their website. Guido Zambelis is reported to act as the county’s solicitor-general and Viscount Chattahooche, Bela Vajay de Vaja is said to be the nation’s surgeon-general.
Roughs Tower, in the North Sea, is claimed by the Principality of Sealand. It was originally named H.M. Fort Roughs and used as a military base during World War II. Sealand’s sovereignty was claimed in 1967, according to its website. At least one incident involving gun fire has been recorded, when Sealand’s Roy Bates reportedly fired warning shots across the bow of British naval ships. Later, British courts refused to intervene over the incident, which Sealand has held up as “de facto” recognition of it being a sovereign nation.
Freetown Christiana is a micro-nation located in Copehagen, Denmark that was built up around 17th century military barracks. Government attempts to remove the micro-nation have been met with massive demonstrations, resulting in 1,500 arrests, fire bombs, tear gas, and 200 official complaints being filed against police. Freetown Christiana is reportedly a site of many drug arrests, according to the Guardian.
It doesn’t look like Zaqistani President Zaq Landsberq’s plans are as extravagant as those of the leadership of Freetown Christiana or Sealand. WVTM 14 reports that Zaqistan does have a giant robot working as a border patrol attendant, however.
[Feature Screenshot Courtesy of Jeff Sisson/YouTube]