Ever since Indore’s computer coder Suyash Dixit shared the pictures of him on his newfound country ‘Kingdom of Dixit’, a supposedly unclaimed area before he planted a seed and his flag located between the borders of Egypt and Sudan, the social media has been set ablaze and people are now actually applying for citizenship in the new Kingdom.
However, as history would tell us, this wasn’t the first case when someone dared to create a new country out of nowhere. There was even a case when Nobel laureate novelist Ernst Hemingway’s brother Leicester C. Hemingway built a raft, took it to international waters and declared it an independent country.
Though many of such nations founded have ceased to exist, there are a few which are still present and these should put some hopes in the heart of King Dixit, the first of his name and the protector of the realm.
Here are 5 predecessors of King Dixit who created their own countries which still survive.
1. The Principality of Sealand.
This micronation is nothing more than an offshore artificial platform standing in the North Sea, located 12 kilometers from the coast of Suffolk, England.
It is actually a World War II Maunsell Fort built by the British as an anti-aircraft defensive gun platform. The whole country is an iron platform which stands on two concrete pillars in the middle of waters. Since it, along with other such platforms, was built on international water, they were abandoned after the war.
The present day Sealand remained abandoned till the Christmas Eve of 1966 when pirate radio broadcaster Paddy Bates along with his wife, daughter and son decided to infiltrate it in order to set up a radio station so as to stay away from the British regulations and declared the platform an independent country on September 2, 1967, appointing himself as the ‘Prince of Sealand’.
The Principality of Sealand today has 22 permanent citizens, a flag, and most importantly, anyone can become a baron, baroness, count or countess of Sealand if he/she donates for the cause of the nation.
2. Free Republic of Liberland.
The newest micronation in the world emerged as a result of border dispute between Croatia and Serbia.
According to Croatia, the area of Liberland, located on the west of Danube river belongs to Serbia, while Serbia doesn’t claim it.
Seizing the opportunity, Vít Jedlička, a Czech politician, declared the 7 sq km region as an independent country and proclaimed himself as the first president of Liberland in the year 2015. No, he wasn’t joking.
Though more than 4,00,000 people have applied for Liberland citizenship, it has presently zero inhabitants.
Travis McHenry declared himself the Duke of Westarctica, a so-called micronation he founded in 2001, after he was able to spot an unclaimed area in western Antarctica sandwiched between lands claimed by New Zealand and Chile on Mary Byrd Island. The country is 600,000 square miles in area, has two dormant volcanoes and is inhibited by penguins presently.
McHenry, however, wants to make it a model monarchy. Sadly, the duke himself hasn’t set his foot on the country because it costs $50,000 per person even after more than 16 years. He is hopeful to be there one day, nevertheless.
McHenry has written to many countries for its recognition but no one seems generous enough. He has but ‘diplomatic relations’ with other micronations.
One day in the year 1952, Iranian-born sailor Eli Avivi decided to walk into an abandoned village named Achziv, which was vacated during the Israeli-Arab war of 1948, after the creation of the Jewish state of Israel and continued living there until in the year 1970 when the Israeli government decided to bulldoze the buildings of the village including the house Eli was living.
Eli was not someone who would give up the place he lived so long and created much stir in the media. Supports poured in for him from everywhere and in the year 1971, he declared the place where his dear house stood an independent state.
He was dragged into court, but the judge ruled that there was no law against the charge ‘creation of new country without permission’ and instead had Eli have the land on lease for 99 years, keeping meanwhile the ambiguous legal status of it.
The population of Akhzivland is presently two. It also has a museum and a flag.
5. The Principality of Hutt River.
In the year 1970, Leonard Casley found himself in a disagreement with the government of Australia over wheat quotas.
According to the quotas, Casleys were allowed to sell only 40 hectares of wheat in the market. But the problem was, his farm had produced 4,000 hectares and the governor of Western Australia would not heed to his protest. So, he did the wisest thing that came to his mind and declared his farm an independent nation and started to proclaim himself as ‘His Majesty Prince Leonard I of Hutt’ in an attempt to take advantage of British Treason Act 1495, according to which the king of a nation cannot be held guilty for treason and anyone who interferes with the duties of the king can be charged with treason.
The Principality of Hutt River today has 30 full-time citizens in the 75 sq km area. In a significant turn of event, in the year 2016, the micronation received an official nod from Queen Elizabeth II and Australia’s head of state on the 46th anniversary of the country.