4 Crazy Land Claims Actually Recognized By the Government
Crazy people will pronounce themselves ruler of the Sovereign Nation of Tittyfartsylvania or President of Madeuplandington with some regularity. What is more stunning is when actual governments choose to recognize the borders of Tittyfartsylvania and send diplomats to negotiate peace terms.
The Principality of Outer Baldonia
The Principality of Outer Baldonia sprang into being in the 1940s, when a Pepsi lobbyist named Russell Arundel negotiated its purchase for $750, because it's not like he was going to spend that money feeding the homeless.
"Eh, I'm a Coke guy anyway."
Russell succeeded in getting Rand McNally to put Outer Baldonia into their atlases, and he also managed to piss off the Soviet Union by declaring fishing and the export of empty rum bottles as constitutionally mandated activities, which the Soviets argued was dehumanizing for Baldonian citizens. Evidently no one bothered to point out that A) Baldonia had no citizens, or B) Stalin's Russia complaining about civil rights abuses in other countries was politely ironic at best.
There was a point "C" but it was taken away for questioning.
Baldonia (a 4-acre island) responded by declaring war on the U.S.S.R. (a country spanning 11 time zones), which is the riskiest way anyone has ever been called an asshole. Canada lent the naval support of a yacht club (seriously), and the mighty Baldonian Navy waited for the Soviets to make the first move. Sufficiently ridiculed, the U.S.S.R. backed down.
The Conch Republic
The Republic was a protest against the U.S. Border Patrol, who had a roadblock and inspection station set up on the only two roads that connected the Florida Keys to the mainland. People were annoyed at being treated like foreigners every time they went to the Piggly Wiggly, so they decided they might as well be foreigners and split from the Union, because there is truly no better way to express your irritation over a minor inconvenience than reducing the bloodiest period in American history to an obnoxious pun on a Cub Scouts flag.
When the U.S. Army used the Keys for a training exercise in 1995, the Conch Republic branded it an "invasion", and the freaking Army backed off -- releasing an official statement saying they had not meant to challenge the sovereignty of the Conch Republic.
If it's really that easy, we're amazed everyone over the age of 50 hasn't already seceded over bitter customer service disputes at Walmart.
The Free and Independent State of Frestonia was created in October, 1977, by 120 hippie weirdoes who banded together to prevent the British government from knocking down the abandoned buildings they were squatting in. After voting overwhelmingly for secession, the Frestonians even petitioned the United Nations for entry, which by all accounts is about as exclusive in its membership as Jaleel White's fan club.
Due to the relentless media coverage of the incident, Great Britain allowed the nation of Frestonia to remain, and it soon adopted its own newspaper, national anthem, and film institute (which we assume showed nothing but double features of The Wall and Tommy). Frestonia became the first independent state to be run entirely by hippies, and predictably, its first Independence Day looked like this:
The clown wasn't invited. He just showed up.
The Nation of Celestial Space
On December 21, 1948, an Illinois man named James Thomas Mangan laid claim to the entirety of outer space on behalf of humanity. Truly, no man on planet Earth was better suited to Mangan's self-appointed imaginary task.
"I'm tracing the official cosmic borders with my finger."
Mangan formally registered the Nation of Celestial Space (also known as Celestia) with the Recorder of Deeds and Titles of Cook County, which is clearly the highest authority in the land, declaring himself the nation's founder and first representative. In 1949 he banned every member of the United Nations (including the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union) from doing any further atmospheric nuclear testing, and even demanded that the United States and the Soviet Union cancel the space race because they were trespassing on Celestia territory. With the rate at which the KGB is still killing people, we're amazed someone didn't show up at Mangan's house and cave his face in with a rusty typewriter.
Instead of filing a police report, the United Nations decided it would be better to validate his daffy ramblings and unfurled the proud Celestian flag at the UN's New York headquarters in June of 1958, flying it alongside the flags of real, actual nations in front of a worldwide audience.
Andrew is an unrecognized pseudo-microprincipality and independent musician. You can help him in his ska music endeavors by liking his page here, downloading his album from it, or both!