How to Start Your Own Micronation
Become the King of your castle, master of your domain! But why?
There are many reasons one may wish to start their own micronation. For many, it's an exercise in creativity and alternative forms of government. Others view their micronation as a form of protest against the existing governments of the world. For some, ruling their own country is simply a fun and engaging way to spend their free time.
The first question you should ask yourself before embarking on the quest of creating your own country is: "Why do it at all?" This is a question that many people will ask you in the future, so it's best to sort out the answer for yourself before you begin. Knowing why you want to rule a micronation will help determine what kind of country you're going to create.
If you need some inspiration, here's a list of books about micronations, alternative governments, royalty, and historical leaders that might give you some ideas:
Figure out the basics early (and try not to change them too often).
The easiest way to get your micronation up and running quickly is to spend a few hours on Wikipedia looking up countries and their governments to find something that suits your fancy. By researching existing (or formerly existing) dignitary titles, place naming conventions, coats of arms, and styles of government, you should find sufficient inspiration to make the first key decisions.
What title do you want your leader to have? Emperor, King, Overlord, Viceroy, Governor, and Captain-General have all been used by existing countries at one time or another. You could also make up an entirely new title: "God-Emperor of the Wastes" has a certain ring to it!
The name of your nation is something that shouldn't be changed too often, especially once you've announced your country's existence to the world. If you feel a pressing need to change the name of your nation every few months, then your country's culture and national identity probably wasn't very strong to begin with.
The same goes with your flag design. Changing every so often is perfectly normal (real countries do it from time to time) but a new flag every month is a lot for your allies and citizens to keep track of! When choosing a flag design, spend some time studying the flags of the world and follow this rule of thumb: Your flag should be simple enough that a school child could draw it with a few crayons.
Find loyal followers (or anyone willing to take a picture with you).
Now that you've created an inspirational new country, you'll need to find a few followers to help your nation grow. Invite family members and friends to take posts in your government. If they don't want to work in your micronation, offer them a title of nobility and let them live a life of ease.
Some micronationalists prefer to go it alone and have total control with a one-person government, which is fine if you're up to the challenge!
An easy way to get people to join your country is to start an official Facebook group. Be sure to post some pictures of your flag, national symbols, and your territory to attract curious visitors (and to convince them your country is for real).
Make your country look too legit to quit.
Part of the fun of having your own country is designing and creating all the items that real countries get to create. You can use Photoshop, MS Paint, or any other graphic design program to let your imagination run wild, then use the resources below to bring them into reality.
YourStamps has been creating stamps for micronations for almost twenty years. The quality of their stamp paper is superb and the owner, Juergen Schwarz, is extremely helpful with questions.
MicroFlag is one of the few businesses owned by an actual micronation. Based in Russia, their flags are of excellent quality and they allow you to purchase only one flag if you wish (no minimum order!). Their prices are reasonable and they have a large selection of sizes and fabrics to choose from.
Ebay is a great resource for finding surplus military uniforms, medals, and other accoutrements to make you and your cabinet ministers stand out from the crowd. Your best bet is to blend elements from different countries to create your own unique uniform and regalia. For example, try searching for "East German Tunic" and combine that with "Cavalry Breeches" and a "Vintage Officer Hat."
Tip: Be careful about using the medals and uniforms of existing militaries. You should modify them so the soldiers who really wear them won't be offended!
Rule your nation like it's a real nation and you're a real ruler.
What kinds of activities do actual presidents and kings do on a daily basis? The daily life of someone running a country is split into two segments: Administrative duties and Representative duties. Some countries divide these responsibilities between two different people, a Head of Government and a Head of State.
Administrative duties include correspondence with your citizens and ministers of government, posting updates to your nation's Facebook page, making decisions about stamp and currency designs, and generally making sure your micronation is being run in an effective manner.
Representative duties involve activities like appearing in public, giving speeches, and corresponding with the leaders of other micronations. If you're not comfortable speaking in public, try taking a public speaking course at a local community college; and don't be afraid to practice giving speeches in private before trying it for real. Post your speeches on YouTube and then share them with the world.
If you're still not sure how to spend your time as a ruler, here's a list of movies and television shows so you can see how it's done:
Your nation, your way.
Not everyone you encounter is going to like your micronation or the way you're running it. Heck, not everybody likes North Korea! Each micronationalist has their own unique talents and abilities, so don't be afraid to run your country your way.
When dealing with the leaders of other micronations, try to keep a calm mindset and remember you're representing all the people of your country, not just yourself. When you speak, you speak for your entire population and your nation as a whole. Don't get into a petty argument just because your feelings were hurt.
Always take the high ground and you'll gain the respect of your fellow micronationalists (even if that one jerk still doesn't like you).