History of Small Countries and Micronations Part 2

About some micronations founded by various would be rulers, history and information of lands such as Minerva and Oceanus.

MICRONATIONS

REPUBLIC OF MORAC-SONGHRATIMEADS

Tide-washed reefs are the site of this micronation, which has its capital on Meads Island in the South China Sea, an island not marked in standard atlases. It claims all territory in a 700-mi. sweep of water between the Philippines and Vietnam. Its government has renamed these waters the Humanity Sea and has threatened to confiscate an oil rig set up by the Shell Oil Company. Any person making claims on property of the republic risks the death penalty. The national flag is yellow and black with two figs in a white star, the national anthem is Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, and the motto is "Conscience, Intelligence, Courage, Principia Non Homines."

HUTT RIVER PROVINCE PRINCIPALITY

Prince Leonard George Casley founded this micronation on 18,500 acres of land in Western Australia, 350 mi. from Perth, in 1970, and issues stamps and currency of his own devising. The principality's main business is serving tourists. The Holiday Commemorating the Anniversary of the Secession is held on Apr. 21.

NAVASSA ISLAND

This is a piece of land in the Caribbean, shaped like a pear and lying at latitude 18 deg. 25' N and longitude 75deg.W, 32 mi. west of Haiti. Its flat top, 1 sq. mi. in area, is protected by steep 60-ft.-high cliffs all around. Its distinction is that it is the only piece of territory owned and governed by the U.S. Coast Guard, which has operated a lighthouse on it since 1916. Discovered by Spaniards in 1504, the island was claimed for its guano deposits in 1857 by an American, Peter Duncan, who built a wharf at Lulu Bay to load the phosphate aboard cargo ships. In spite of claims on the island by Haiti, the U.S. kept control of the island, and in 1899 a work force of 137 black Americans was brought in to mine phosphate for $8 a month each. They soon mutinied, killing a white officer and losing nine of their own men in a gun fight. This permanently ended the mine operation. Today the 162-ft.-high lighthouse sends its beam out from a point 400 ft. above sea level, visible from ships as far away as 24 mi. In 1948 Haitian vandals stripped the light. The first radio transmission from Navassa was made in 1954 by a group of fishermen from Boston, Mass.

REPUBLIC OF TIERRA DEL MAR

President and Acting Secretary of State Leicester Hemingway claimed Christmas Island, a 100-yd. stretch of sand in the Bahamas, as his own republic in 1973. It lies at latitude 25deg.38' N and longitude 78deg.44' W. Its constitution is taken word for word from that of the U.S.

ABACO

This "free nation"--as its founder, Mike Oliver, a real estate dealer of Carson City, Nev., calls it--is another of the Bahamas, lying 170 mi. east of the Florida coast and having an area of 700 sq. mi. Although Oliver has written a book about his nation called A New Constitution for a New Country, the other 6,500 Abaconians have yet to recognize Oliver as their official king. Oliver claims that "Abaconians are determined not to become another banana republic."

--R.Bo.

HAY

Hay-on-Wye is a market town of 1,500 people on the Welsh-English border. Home of the Cusop-Dingle snail and the badger-faced sheep. Hay has in recent years seen its traditional ways and centuries-old buildings threatened by London bureaucrats and the creeping spread of chain stores. In the face of this attack, Hay resident Richard Booth, owner of the world's largest used-book store, declared himself King Richard I of Hay on Apr. 1, 1977. King Richard has proven himself to be a rather mellow monarch, declaring that in Hay, "There must be no authority from anyone. Long live Anarchy. Prosperity to the People!" The new nation supports itself by selling dukedoms pound 25 and earldoms pound 5, as well as T-shirts and tote bags.

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