Nationalism On a Different ScaleClick icon to view map
What makes a nation? Wars? Declarations? How about someone who wants to make his backyard a little more interesting? Meet President Kevin Baugh–or more accurately, His Excellency President Kevin Baugh–of the Republic of Molossia. President Baugh runs this small micronation from his home…because it is his home. The Republic of Molossia exists in Mr. Baugh’s yard, near Virginia City, Nevada, as well as a couple claimed places in California, totaling a little over 11 acres.
Take the video tour!
What started as a teenage project with a friend in the 1970s has since evolved into a well-known state in the micronation community. President Baugh serves as Molossia’s head of state; his wife the First Lady and his daughter the Republic’s constable. Molossia has even gained mainstream media attention recently. Is it an actual nation? Well, the United States nor the UN don’t officially recognize it, but there’s no law that says it does not or cannot exist. So yes, it is a nation. Kind of.
UW Founder & Editor, Wanderin’ Mark, greets President Kevin Baugh at the border. Mark forgot his passport, but President Baugh was nice enough to let him in for a while, anyway.
What is a Micronation?
Micronations are not “official”, UN-recognized states, but rather the product of enthusiasts who enjoy taking the concept of having their own realm to a slightly higher level while (usually) not taking it too seriously. Think of it as a hobby. Most micronations are the size of one’s property and are almost always run exclusively by self-appointed presidents, kings, prime ministers, or dictators. We actually heard about one micronation that is simply a rock that is carried around in a shoebox. Guess it’s easy enough to manage.
UW has been fascinated by the micronation movement since they started to gain traction with the public. If you’ve ever been to Key West, Florida, you’ve probably heard of the Conch Republic, which is one of many emerging micronations worldwide. One of the more famous and oldest micronations is the Principality of Sealand. Founded in 1967, it sits on an abandoned World War II gun platform off the coast of England.
Since UW was based in Reno, Nevada this summer, we of course had to visit the Republic of Molossia, especially since it’s only an hour away. President Baugh, who describes himself as a “Benevolent Dictator”–complete with medals, flag sash, and military-style uniform–was very welcoming and gave us a tour of his nation’s accomplishments and infrastructure, which includes a post office, currency and stamps, railroad, customs station (manned by a mannequin who never complains), and even a space program (see video above). Although not officially recognized by the United States, President Baugh was happy to receive a Christmas card from the White House not too long ago. And in case you’re wondering, he does pay U.S. taxes, but prefers to label them Foreign Aid, referencing the road conditions in America. “They [U.S.] need all the help they can get”, he explained.
We had a great visit. President Baugh enjoys giving tours of his nation, and welcomes you to schedule one by contacting him online (please do not show up unannounced). Tours are only offered certain months of the year.
Special thanks to Kevin Baugh and his family for welcoming and hosting us!
Learn more about the Republic of Molossia and schedule a free visit by going to www.molossia.org.