The west has a long tradition of enjoying the eccentricities of oddball characters – people like Joshua Norton, who declared himself Emperor of the United States in 1859 and was treated with honors by san Francisco citizens for the rest of his life. There’s even a movement today to name the bay bridge for him. In that same vein, along comes Kevin Baugh, formerly of Portland Oregon, and now the President of Molossia.
In case you never heard of Molossia, it’s one and a third acres of Nevada desert land about 30 miles east of Carson City. President Baugh declared it a micro-nation back in the 1990’s. He’s built his own little kingdom there, and 33 people claim citizenship – though only 3 live in the Molossia homeland, the rest live elsewhere.
President Baugh was interviewed in the web-based travel publication Afar last year. He told the reporter that it was surprisingly easy to create a micro nation; just declare that it exists. The details will follow. Molossia has a flag and its own currency, which is not based on silver or gold, but something really valuable and important: Chocolate chip cookie dough. The country also has a bank and a post office, a trading post, and of course a customs shack.
Molossia also has an enemy. It’s currently at war with East Germany, and sees no end to the conflict. The reason it won’t end is, there is no one left in East German government to negotiate a peace treaty. On the bright side, the President says, its good to have an enemy to blame all your ills and woes on. Doesn’t every government need a scapegoat now and then?
As wacky as it may seem, Baugh isn’t alone in his quest to create a micro nation. There are hundreds of them around the world, and every other year President Baugh organizes a conference that brings 25 to 50 fellow nation builders together to share ideas. They come dressed in glorious state attire, outfitted in whatever they think a nation leader should wear.
One thing does make President Baugh unique; he usually is the only President. Most other micronations have kings, queens, dukes or emperors. Baugh isn’t particularly fond of royalty, so he chose to be President and Dictator.
You can go visit Molossia. Visitors are welcome on specified days during the summer months only, and only by reservation. You can check their website at http://www.molossia.org to schedule a visit. And don’t forget your passport.
I’m Len Wilcox and that’s the Western View from AgNet West and Citrus Industry Magazine. Visit us on the web at www.citrusindustry.net.