So, have you ever been so fed up with everything that you just thought: “F*ck it, I’ll make my own country!”? Of course, you haven’t! It’s not like you’re insane. Lucky for me, and for the sake of your entertainment, there have been people out there that did say “F*ck it, I’ll start my own country!” and actually did to varying degrees of success. These are three people who created their own countries.
1. Prince Paddy Roy Bates - Principality of Sealand
No, it’s not some kind of aquatic mammal theme park, and shame on you for getting excited for one… go watch Blackfish right away!
The Principality of Sealand was founded by Prince Paddy Roy Bates in 1967, an ex-British military man (that ex refers to both “British” and “military”) after occupying the Roughs Tower sea fort just outside of British territory in international waters. It has a constitution, a flag, a coat of arms, a national anthem, and it even issues passports. Not only is Sealand considered to be one of the smallest countries in the world, it is also one of the few that has seen armed conflict.
In 1978, a gentleman named Alexander Achenbach hired mercenaries to storm the fort and enact a coup d’état in Sealand. In an insane real-world version of Waterworld, but with more British people (which probably would have benefited the Hollywood version), the attack was carried out on jet skis, speedboats, and helicopters. Major Master Bates and his wife were in England at the time (on what I assume was laughable diplomatic meetings with low-level public servants), but his son Michael that was sucking at literally holding down the fort was taken hostage.
Michael then pulled a Die Hard and managed to use stashed weapons to capture Achenbach and charge him for treason against Sealand – Alexander was a possessor of a Sealand passport – and was held unless a fine of $35.000 was paid to the state… or principality, I should say. After that, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands petitioned the British government for his release.
When Achenbach was finally released, he went on to establish the Rebel Government of Sealand which he considers to be the official government in exile…
2. Jacob Ludvigsen - Freetown Christiania
The founders are pretty anonymous here, so I’ll instead talk about the man that declared the area open: Jacob Ludvigsen, a well-known Provo and journalist.
Christiania was a sprawling abandoned military base which was commandeered by surrounding residents so their children could go play. People started squatting on the property, and it soon became an impromptu demonstration against high housing prices in Denmark.
It further evolved into a creative hippie commune with its own electrical plant and legal weed… well, relatively legal. Although the Danish government looks the other way, again relatively, once in a while, they will go into Christiania and bust some hippie heads, confiscating what I imagine is enough weed to get every single man, woman, and child in Denmark high.
Today, the complex is an entire neighborhood, occupying a sprawling 84 acres and housing 850 residents.
3. Kevin Baugh - Republic of Molossia
Easily either the most self-aware or the most insane, the Republic of Molossia is located in Nevada and claims a national bank, a postal service, and a communications network, amongst other amenities. They even have their own space program that basically involves a cardboard eclipse viewer… that’s it. Molossia has its own YouTube channel, because what country doesn’t have a one?
You have to give it to Baugh, though – someone that looks like a discount store Gadhafi – because when making a presidential speech, it’s directed to his wife and their two children… the Republic of Molossia’s entire population.
Do you know of any other absolutely insane people that started their own countries? Let me know in the comments section below!