Indian Stream

In 1832, a border area between Canadian Vermont and New Hampshire was claimed by both British Canada and the United States.

Even though the United States had secured its independence from Britain through the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the borders were often defined vaguely or based on inaccurate maps.

The treaty established that the border between New Hampshire and Canada would be “the northwesternmost Head of the Connecticut River.” Unfortunately, no-one agreed on which body of water precisely that should be. It was in this geographic confusion that the short-lived nation of the Indian Stream Republic was born.

“I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me.” ― William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

In 1832, local settlers converted the disputed lands between Hall’s Stream, Indian Stream and the lakes of the Connecticut River into an independent republic known as Indian Stream. It existed briefly from July 9, 1832 to 1835 when it voluntarily yielded to New Hampshire. American jurisdiction was fully acknowledged in 1836.

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Pitcairn Island

Pitcairn Island, in the South Pacific about midway between Australia and South America, consists of the island of Pitcairn and the three uninhabited islands of Henderson, Duicie, and Oeno. Its closest neighbours are the Gambier Islands and Tahiti to the West, but even these are several hundred miles away.

“Islands are metaphors of the heart, no matter what poet says otherwise.” – Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry

The island, which is the last remaining British territory in the Pacific, has a standing population of some fifty people, many of whom are descended from crew members of the famed HMS Bounty.

Pitcairn Island

In 1789, the Bounty was the setting for a now-legendary mutiny, when crew members enchanted by the idyllic life of the native Pacific islanders overthrew their commander, burned their ship in a nearby bay, and settled on Pitcairn.

The descendants of First Mate Fletcher Christian, the eight other mutineers, and the dozen or so Tahitians who accompanied them still inhabit the island. In addition to English, the residents of Pitcairn speak a dialect that is a mixture of Tahitian and 18th-century English.

Today, the descendants of those sailors mostly make their living off of farming, fishing, and selling their extremely rare postage stamps to collectors, but even with modern transportation they still remain one of the most isolated communities in the world.

There is no airstrip on the island, and getting there from the mainland requires hopping a ride on a shipping boat out of New Zealand, a journey that can take as long as ten days.

“No man is an island, entire of itself.”
– John Donne, No Man Is An Island

In 2014, only 48 people live on the island. According to some sources, the entire population is listed as Seventh-Day Adventist. If all 48 people are indeed practising Christians, it would make Pitcairn Island the most religious nation in the world, with a religiosity of an absolute 100%.

Types of Micronations

Historical anomalies and aspirant states

A small number of micronations are founded with genuine aspirations to be sovereign states. Many are based on historical anomalies or eccentric interpretations of law, and tend to be easily confused with established states. These types of micronations are usually located in small (usually disputed) territorial enclaves, generate limited economic activity founded on tourism, philatelic and numismatic sales, and are at best tolerated or at worst ignored by other nations.

Social, economic, or political simulations

Micronations of this type tend to be fairly serious in outlook, involve sometimes significant numbers of relatively mature participants, and often engage in highly sophisticated, structured activities that emulate the operations of real-world nations.

Exercises in personal entertainment or self-aggrandisement

With literally thousands in existence, micronations of this type are by far the most common. They are ephemeral, rarely surviving more than a few months; although there are notable exceptions. They generally involve a handful of people, and are concerned primarily with arrogating to their founders the outward symbols of statehood. The use of grand-sounding titles, awards, honours, and heraldic symbols derived from European feudal traditions.

New-country projects

New-country projects are attempts to found completely new nation-states. They typically involve plans to construct artificial islands (few of which are ever realised). A large percentage have embraced or purported to embrace libertarian or democratic principles.


Seasteading is a lifestyle of making the oceans, or at least water-borne craft, one’s home. Most seasteads historically have been sailing craft. Nowadays, all sorts of floating crafts are used. Some theoretical seasteads are floating platforms which could be used to create sovereign micronations, or otherwise serve the ends of ocean colonization.

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Principality of Seborga

The Principality of Seborga is a micronation located in the north-western Italian Province of Imperia in Liguria. The principality is in coexistence with, and claims the territory of, the town of Seborga, which is an Italian municipality.

Italiano: Bandiera del Principato di Seborga

The flag of The Principality of Seborga

During the Middle Ages it became part of the feudal holdings of the Counts of Ventimiglia. By 954 it became the property of the Benedictine Monks of Santo Onorato of Lerins. In 1079 the Abbot of this monastery was made a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, with temporal authority over the Principality of Seborga.

On 20 January 1729, this independent principality was sold to the Savoy dynasty’s Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, then ruled by Victor Amadeus II.

The argument for Seborga’s present-day status as an independent state is founded on the claim that this sale was never registered by its new owner, resulting in the principality falling into what has been described as a legal twilight zone.

Subsequently, in 1815, the Congress of Vienna overlooked Seborga in its redistribution of European territories after the Napoleonic Wars, and there is no mention of Seborga in the Act of Unification for the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

Palace of the government

The Palace of the government of Seborga

In the early 1960s, Giorgio Carbone, then head of the local flower-growers co-operative, began promoting the idea that Seborga retained its historic independence as a principality. By 1963 the people of Seborga were sufficiently convinced of these arguments to elect Carbone as their Head of State. He then assumed the self-styled title Giorgio I, Prince of Seborga, which he held until his death in 2009.

Carbone’s status as Prince was confirmed on 23 April 1995, when, in an informal referendum, Seborgans voted 304 in favour, 4 against, for the Principality’s constitution, and in favour of independence from Italy. Carbone reigned until his death on 25 November 2009.

At present, Italy does not recognize the principality and considers Seborga a part of its territory. Italy also has not explicitly challenged the evidence laid out by Carbone due to lack of evidence on their part. Meanwhile the government of Italy provides all services for the citizens of Seborga, which implies the power of Italy over the principality.

In general, Seborgans do not object against Italian governance in the area.They still receive services from Italy and participate in the activities of the Italian government.

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Freetown Christiania

The famous Danish Freetown Christiania was founded in 1971 when a group of hippies took over abandoned military barracks and their surrounding along the Copenhagen Christianshavn canals, and developed it to an alternative society with own set of rules, independent of the government. This social experiment that included collective ownership has over the years developed and established its semi-legal status. Today the enclave’s user rights have been terminated by Danish state.

One of the main streets in Christiania, Copenhagen

One of the main streets of Christiania

After the military moved out, the area was only guarded by a few watchmen and there was sporadic trespassing of homeless people using the empty buildings. On September 4th 1971, inhabitants of the surrounding neighbourhood broke down the fence to take over parts of the unused area as a playground for their children.

Although the takeover was not necessarily organised in the beginning, some claim this happened as a protest against the Danish government. At the time there was a lack of affordable housing in Copenhagen.

On the 26th of September 1971, Christiania was declared open by Jacob Ludvigsen, a well-known provo (a Dutch counterculture movement in the mid-1960s that focused on provoking violent responses from authorities using non-violent bait) and journalist. Ludvigsen wrote an article in which he and five others went on exploration into what he termed: ‘The Forbidden City of the Military’. The article widely announced the proclamation of the free town. In 1971, Ludvigsen co-authored the Christiania’s mission statement:

“The objective of Christiania is to create a self-governing society whereby each and every individual holds themselves responsible over the wellbeing of the entire community. Our society is to be economically self-sustaining and, as such, our aspiration is to be steadfast in our conviction that psychological and physical destitution can be averted.”

The spirit of Christiania quickly developed into one of the hippie movement, the squatter movement, collectivism and anarchism, in contrast to the site’s previous military use.

Flag of Christiania

Flag of Christiania

Today, the commune is partially self-governing, and its members pay taxes to the state, but it still applies own rules such as: no cars, no stealing, no guns, no bullet-proof vests, no hard drugs. The stands on the infamous Pusher Street, where until 2004 one could buy hash openly at, are gone today, but the cameras are still not allowed here. On top of that, the ban on smoking in public spaces is not respected here.

Christiania has its own flag, and even its own currency; the Løn.

The approximately 850 citizens of Christiania work as artisans. Also, the famous Christiania Bikes are produced here. The inhabitants drive also meditation centra, cafés, restaurants, and a couple of music night clubs. Many houses that were built, painted and decorated by their first inhabitants, became historical objects.

Christiania is unique; one of its kind in the world, and for many people became a symbol of Danish liberal lifestyle. The Town can only be entered through its two main entrances.

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The Kingdom of Redonda

The Kingdom of Redonda is a name for the micronation aspect of the tiny uninhabited Caribbean island of Redonda.

Redonda Island (Antigua y Barbuda)

Redonda as seen from the sea

This islet – essentially a very small island, or rock – is situated between the islands of Nevis and Montserrat, within the inner arc of the Leeward Islands chain, in the West Indies. The island is currently legally a dependency of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. The island is uninhabited, and indeed is more or less uninhabitable since there is no source of freshwater, and most of the island is extremely steep and rocky, with only a relatively small area of grassland at the top.

Redonda also is, or appears to be, a micronation which may, arguably and briefly, actually have existed as an independent kingdom during the 19th century. The title to this supposed kingdom is still contested to this day in a half-serious fashion. The Kingdom is also often associated with a number of supposed aristocratic members, whose titles are given out freely by whoever currently claims to be king of Redonda. Currently there are a number of different individuals from several different countries who claim to be the sole legitimate king of Redonda.

The history of the so-called Kingdom of Redonda is shrouded in doubt and legend, and it is difficult to separate fact from fiction.

Matthew Phipps Shiell claimed that in 1865, his father Matthew Dowdy Shiell, from the nearby island of Montserrat, proclaimed himself to be the rightful, and supposedly legal, king of the island of Redonda in order that he might establish his son as the rightful heir to the throne. This story, as first recounted by the son in a promotional leaflet for his books, may be partly or entirely fictional.

Flag of the Kingdom of Redonda (Antigua and Ba...

Flag of Redonda

Shiell senior claimed the islet because it appeared to be the case that no country had officially claimed the islet as territory. He is also said to have requested the title of King from Queen Victoria, and as legend has it, she granted it to him as long as there was no revolt against colonial power.His son Matthew Phipps Shiell was supposedly crowned on Redonda at the age of 15 by a bishop from Antigua.

In 2007, the Wellington Arms pub in Southampton, England, attempted to declare themselves an embassy of the nation of Redonda, in order to gain diplomatic immunity from a nationwide ban on smoking in enclosed workplaces, including pubs.

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The Principality of Filettino

Filettino is a village located about 70 km east of Rome. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 542 and an area of 77.5 km².

Originally a place of the Aequi (the ancient people of northeast Latium and the central Appennines of Italy who appear in the early history of ancient Rome), and remaining a tiny hamlet until the time of Christ, it became a safe haven for those fleeing from Saracen invasions in 800 A.D, due to its mountainous location.

English: Principality of Filettino Coat of Arms

Coat of arms of the Principality of Filettino

In 1297 it fell under the control of Pietro Caetani, nephew of Pope Boniface VIII, whose family became notorious as cruel and oppressive, crushing various uprisings until the last of the Filettino Caetanis was executed in 1602 at the papal palace Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome. In the same year it was entered by Pope Clement VII into the Apostolic Chamber and was thus subsequently absorbed into the Papal States until the States themselves were annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1870.

In August 2011, following an Italian government announcement that all villages with under 1,000 residents would have to merge with nearby villages in order to cut administrative costs, forcing Filettino to merge with the neighbouring town of Trevi nel Lazio, the village’s mayor Luca Sellari started a campaign for Filettino to become an independent state.

The village began to print its own currency, the fiorito, which translates as ‘flowered’, referring to how Filettino will ‘flower under its new guise’, according to the mayor, and alluding to the currency first minted in 13th-century Florence, the florin.

The citizens intend to invite prince Emanuele Filiberto, from the deposed Italian royal family, to become the Prince of Filettino.

The independence movement created its own coat of arms with its motto: “Nec Flector, Nec Frangor” — we won’t bow or break.

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The Principality of Sealand

The Principality of Sealand is an unrecognized entity, located on HM Fort Roughs, a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort located in the North Sea, 10 km off the coast of Suffolk, England, United Kingdom.

Since 1967, the facility has been occupied by the former British Major Paddy Roy Bates; his associates and family claim that it is an independent sovereign state. While it has been described as the world’s smallest nation, or a micronation, Sealand is not currently officially recognised by any sovereign state. Although Roy Bates claims it is de facto recognised by Germany as they have sent a diplomat to the micronation, and by the United Kingdom after an English court ruled it did not have jurisdiction over Sealand. However, neither action constitutes de jure recognition as far as the respective countries are concerned.

HM Fort Roughs, also known as Roughs Tower

HM Fort Roughs, known as the Principality of Sealand

In 1943, during World War II, HM Fort Roughs was constructed by the United Kingdom as one of the Maunsell Forts, primarily for defence against German mine-laying aircraft that might be targeting the estuaries that were part of vital shipping lanes; It comprised a floating pontoon base with a superstructure of two hollow towers joined by a deck upon which other structures could be added. The fort was towed to a position above the Rough Sands sandbar, where its base was deliberately flooded to allow it to sink to its final resting place on the sandbar. The location chosen was approximately six miles from the coast of Suffolk, outside the then three-mile territorial water claim of the United Kingdom and therefore in international waters.

On 2 September 1967, the fort was occupied by Major Paddy Roy Bates, a British subject and pirate radio broadcaster, who ejected a competing group of pirate broadcasters.Bates intended to broadcast his pirate radio station from the platform.

In 1968, British workmen entered what Bates claimed to be his territorial waters in order to service a navigational buoy near the platform. Michael Bates (son of Paddy Roy Bates) tried to scare the workmen off by firing warning shots from the former fort. As Bates was a British subject at the time, he was summoned to court in England on firearms charges following the incident. But the court ruled that as the platform (which Bates was now calling “Sealand”) was outside British jurisdiction, being beyond the then three-mile limit of the country’s waters, the case could not proceed. In 1975, Bates introduced a constitution for Sealand, followed by a flag, a national anthem, a currency and passports.

In August 1978, while Bates and his wife were in England, a German lawyer called Alexander Achenbach, who described himself as the Prime Minister of Sealand, hired several German and Dutch mercenaries to spearhead an attack of Roughs Tower.They stormed the tower with speedboats and helicopters, and took Bates’ son hostage. Bates was able to retake the tower and capture Achenbach and the mercenaries. Achenbach was charged with treason against Sealand and was held unless he paid DM 75,000 (more than US$ 35,000 or £23,000).

English: Flag of Sealand Español: Bandera de S...

The flag of Sealand

Following the incident, the governments of the Netherlands, Austria and Germany petitioned the British government for his release, but the United Kingdom disavowed his imprisonment, citing the 1968 court decision. Germany then sent a diplomat from its London embassy to Roughs Tower to negotiate for Achenbach’s release. Roy Bates relented after several weeks of negotiations and subsequently claimed that on this instance, the diplomat’s visit constituted de facto recognition of Sealand by Germany.

Since then, Sealand has been managed by the Bates family as if it were a recognised sovereign entity, and they are its hereditary royal rulers. Roy Bates styles himself Prince Roy and his wife Princess Joan. Their son is known as His Royal Highness Prince Michael and has been referred to as the Prince Regent by the Bates family since 1999.

On the afternoon of 23 June 2006, the top platform of the Roughs Tower caught fire due to an electrical failure. A Royal Air Force rescue helicopter transferred one person to Ipswich hospital, directly from the tower. The Harwich lifeboat stood by the Roughs Tower until a local fire tug extinguished the fire. All damage was repaired by November 2006.

In January 2007, The Pirate Bay attempted to buy Sealand after harsher copyright measures in Sweden forced them to look for a base of operations elsewhere. The deal fell through.

The Sealand online Casino is expected to be opened by late 2012.

Sealand has issued passports and has operated as a flag of convenience state. It also holds the Guinness World Record for “the smallest area to lay claim to nation status”. Sealand’s motto is E Mare Libertas – From the Sea, Freedom. It appears on Sealandic items, such as stamps, passports, and coins, and is also the title of the Sealandic anthem.

See other: Posts on Micronations