Raphania

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Colony of Raphania
Colonia Westarctican de Raphania
Flag of
Anthem: 
"Marcha del virrey!"
Raph map labled.png
Map of Raphania showing the main properties (blue) and associated dependencies (red) within the United States of America.
StatusProtectorate of Westarctica
LocationArizona, United States
CapitalRossailles
Largest cityAl-Aarondad
Common languages
Government
• Monarch
Grand Duke Travis I
• Viceroy
Prince Charles of Raphania
Establishment2022
CurrencyIce mark (official)
Shekelder (☊) (regional)
Conferential Doubloon (international)


Raphania, also known as Raphistan, officially the Westarctican Colony of Raphania is a self-declared "Independent and Sovereign Property", micronation and protectorate of the Grand Duchy of Westarctica, situated on two desert properties (known within Raphania as "Prefectures") made up of a 1.16 square acre property in north-eastern Arizona, an apartment and another 0.32 square acre property both in southern Arizona. The micronation operates as a neo-absolute viceroyalty and is under the rulership of the properties' owner, the nation's founder; Prince Charles, who acts as Viceroy of Raphania under the de jure appointment of his colonial overlord Grand Duke Travis of Westarctica. Due to the state's special status as separate properties legally owned by the Viceroy both inside and outside of micronationalism and its remote locations (thus not entirely being within any local Town or City jurisdiction), the lands are able to operate with a high degree of autonomy, bordering on near complete independence, at the whim of the nation's leader. However, Raphania still recognizes the superiority of the United States and while declaring itself as a de jure independent and separate entity, still de facto recognizes the local State and national authorities of the US.

Raphania's creation was heavily inspired by the experiences of its creator who has been a micronationalist since 2007. As such, the creator's former micronation Phokland as well as the micronation of Dracul, in which he had heavy involvement, played large parts in inspiring the nature and makeup of Raphistan as well as its institutions. Additionally, great inspiration was taken from the Republic of Molossia and the Kingdom of Calsahara, both of which are desert-based micronations operating under a similar mindset to Raphania, that being to portray themselves as a unique project of creativity all the while embracing the eccentric nature of their very existence. To a lesser extent, the colony also takes inspiration from the micronation of Vikesland.

The colomy attributes its name to the Catholic Archangel and Saint Raphael. This was chosen as the angel is Charles' Patron Saint and thus his saint's name in accordance with Catholic tradition.

Following its loss in the 2022 Raphania-Westarctica War, Raphania's independent government was dissolved and new viceregal one assumed control of the nation on 19 November 2022, after the capitulation of Raphania and it submitting to Westarctican domination not only as a result of the conflict, but also to help grow, stabilize and preserve the micronation.

History

The history of Raphania is one that far predates the current realm itself. Through one iteration or another, the idea for an all-encompassing nation owned personally by the leader existed in the head of Raphania's founder since the earliest days of his micronational involvement and dates back to his first "micronational" project in 2007.

Pre-Raphania

The earliest traces of what would one day be Raphistan/Raphania date back to 8 February 2007, when Charles founded a small micronation in the playground of his elementary school. The Kingdom, known as Rosston would be made up of Charles and his close friends who would together form the nation's government. This micronation would continue through most of its founders’ time in primary school until 2013 when, Rosston would be abandoned by its creators and left inactive.

The inactivity would continue until December 2017 when after watching the 2010 comedy film Kickassia by comedian Doug Walker, Charles was reminded of micronationalism and of Rosston. Researching the topic further, Charles (now in high school) and a schoolmate agreed to re-enter micronationalism, renaming Rosston to the People's Republic of Phokland.

Under the returned leadership, Phokland would quickly evolve within the community; firstly into a Principality, then a Viceroyalty, a Tsardom and finally into its final form, the Phoklandian Free State.

Phokland, like its predecessor, would fall to inactivity and in April 2020 it would come to an abrupt end following a schism within the government with the majority of Phokland's ministers and citizens leaving to form the Commonwealth of Naveria. Because of this, Phokland's government was disbanded and without the means to maintain sovereignty, Phokland relinquished its land claims becoming akin to a nomadic government in exile under Charles who would change his title to "Margrave of Phokland".

This title later evolved into a revived Phokland after the acquisition of an acre parcel in northeastern Arizona, and finally into what was then known as Raphistan after it was decided that though the state would be considered a continuation of Phokland's spirit, it would go under a new name and be a distinct project.

Land pre-Raphistan

Navajo petroglyphs discovered in Al-Aarondad, Raphania.

The territory that would one day become Raphania was formed hundreds of thousands of years ago when the Arizonan deserts laid under the water of great oceans which once blanketed that region. It was this water which carved out the great peaks and lowlands that would one day fall under Raphanian administration.

The oceans would eventually subside and in its place, vast desert plains would form. On these plains, the region's first people would find a home. The first humans to settle modern-day Raphania were the Navajo peoples who, according to evidence left behind, lived among the rock capped peaks of today's Al-Aarondad. These peoples would leave their mark on the environment through the petroglyphs which they created. These same petroglyphs would later be found during the first expedition into the area following its acquisition by Raphania.

For unknown reasons and at an unknown date, the Navajo would vacate the lands of Raphania, leaving only their primitive artwork behind.

Overtime, some sparse people would come to inhabit the area, with individual parcels being purchased over the years. These people would mostly use the area as either ranchlands or for residential purposes.

Founding

The events which would unfold to create Raphania begin in late August 2021 when after departing the Commonwealth of Dracul, founder Charles found himself looking to re-enter the micronational world at the helm of a nation of his own. Following a lengthy phone call with fellow micronationalist Travis McHenry, Charles decided that he would take what he had learned from his past project and from his time in Dracul and along with a small amount former Phoklandian citizens, re-activate the Unified Kingdom of Graustark and Dawsbergen, which had laid dormant since the end of 2019.

Shortly after its return, Graustark engaged in several micronational events in quick succession. These events included a joint "military operation" with Dracul and a speech to the micronational community on YouTube regarding Charles' wishes to return Graustark-Dawsbergen back into the community spotlight.

It is during this quick surge of activity that Charles, alongside other government members, decided to attempt to acquire a property in the name of the nation. While undergoing the search for usable land, Charles came across an acre of territory in the north-eastern deserts of Arizona which was up for sale. Seeing the affordable nature of the land and seeing an opportunity to start a new project with a "clean slate", Charles' purchased the land and shortly thereafter he declared the formation of the State of Raphistan with himself as Supreme Leader.

Shortly prior to independence, in late September, some of Charles' real life co-workers and friends became interested in the project and joined as citizens and government ministers, furthering Charles' opinion that the new nation would operate primarily within the real world with its founding core made up of individuals living in a close proximity of each other.

Raphanian Revolution

Raphanian Emirate flag flying over the Royal Compound shortly after the revolution.

Due to work commitments, Charles would take leave from Raphistan in early 2022, leaving the nation's Marshal Tony the Great in charge. Under the new administration, Raphistan would stagnate into inactivity and in April of that same year, Charles decided to return to the project and revamp it towards a new direction, focusing more on nation-building and creativity over creating a large and bureaucratic community. Charles also wanted to decrease the more fantastical elements of the state and as such, moved to remove the Shah Alexander character he created in a theatrical and comical way.

On April 8, 2022, with the help of Draculian President Stephen Luke, Charles launched a "revolution" within Raphistan with the goal of removing the office of the Shah, removing redundant/inactive members, removing unused government offices and agencies, changing the look/style of the nation and overhauling the outward reputation of the country.

In this vain the "coupe" was overall successful and through a series of news broadcasts, media appearances and theatrical "revolutionary activities" the Shahdom would be abolished and the state re-branded as a Grand Emirate.

In order to differentiate the new administration from the old one, Raphistan began using its alternative latinized name of Raphania in official correspondence and communications with this becoming the official name shortly after.

Modern Era

Since the "revolution", Raphania has quickly pushed to make a name for itself, participating in microsphere activities such as; diplomacy, joining a micronational MicroLoan group dedicated to offering small short-term loans to impoverished regions and becoming a founding member of the North American Charter Organization, a NATO-esq micronational equivalent founded by the Commonwealth of Dracul.

Westarctica
Proposed Raphanian postage stamp featuring Grand Duke Travis.

On the 26th of October 2022, Raphania declared war on the Grand Duchy of Westarctica in a theatrical display meant to entertain the community. The micronational justification for conflict was over the annexation of Calsahara, which was considered illegit by Raphania's government.

In the Royal declaration it was stated that "a full mobilization of the military apparatus of the nation and all efforts shall be made to remove the influence of Westarctica over the micronation of Calsahara, which is here by viewed as illegally occupied territory". Travis I, Grand Duke of Westarctica then accepted the declaration and counter-declared.

The conflict continued up until 19 November 2022 when negotiations began to end hostilities. In the end, it was decided that Raphania would join Westarctica as a colony under a Viceroy who would act in the stead of the Grand Duke of Westarctica in matters of internal significance. The Grand Emir of Raphania was offered the post and after accepting, on 19 November 2022, Raphania formally joined Westarctica.

Government

Colonial Arms of Raphania.

Officially, the government of Raphistan operates under neo-absolute principals with the Viceroy serving as the head of government and the Grand Duke of Westarctica as head of state. In addition, a local legislative council known as the Raphanian Colonial Office exists to act as a venue for common Raphanian subjects to participate in their local government.

Monarchy

Upon joining Westarctica, Grand Duke Travis of Westarctica was proclaimed monarch of Raphania. In that vein he was granted the ceremonial title of Sultan, a title evolving from Raphania's time as an independent state where the monarch was styled as Grand Emir. Despite this, the current Sultan is typically still referred to as "Grand Duke", his Westarctican title.

Military

Following annexation, Raphania formally maintains a small civil gendarme who acts in both a defensive and peacekeeping capacity and is known as the "Raphanian Guard".

Military engagements

Grand Emir's royal saber planted in the dirt of the Herenolia Coast following the Corps of Discovery military landings in the province.
  • 8-12 April 2022: RRCD Forces worked to overthrow the regime of the Shah and install Grand Emir Charles I to power in Raphania.
  • 27 April 2022: RRCD Naval and K-9 units worked to invade, secure and help annex the provincial territory of the Herenolia Coast into the Grand Emirate of Raphania.
  • 25 October 2022 - 19 November 2022: Raphania and Westarctica engaged in military activity over the legitimacy of Westartica's annexation of Calsahara.

Subdivisions

Raphania is divided into six separate areas of administration; two official territories of land (known as Prefectures), the capital of Rossailles, and three ceremonial dependencies. Furthermore, the core territories of land are further divided into two sub-districts each, which account for their respective regional capitals.

The sub-divisions which make up the prefectures consist of the regional city of Al-Aarondad, for Northern Raphania and the Southern Raphanian Prefecture's capital of Goree.

Raphania's capitol is made up of a residence and backyard which serves as the home for the royal couple of Raphania. The territory was acquired on 13 October 2022 following the 2022 Raphanian Royal Move from the monarch's previous residence, the Royal Concession which was subsequently handed back over to the United States of America. The capital is divided into three sections with the residence itself being known as "Government House" and the backyard area being known as "Farmer's Court". Farmer's Court boasts an outdoor meeting area and a marked stone border. In addition, a small grass park adjacent to the residence is also considered under Raphanian ceremonial sovereignty and is included as a part of Rossailles as "Colonial Park". The park is home to a small wooded area and a Soccer field which serves as the Raphania's national sports venue.

The ceremonial dependency of Garretsburg was ceded to Raphania in October 2021 and consists of a citizen's personal dwelling. The area was granted for inclusion after Raphania's independence from Graustark-Dawsbergen. Like the rest of Raphania, Garretsburg is also located in Arizona and its administrative seat/capital is known as Frankville.

In April 2022, Raphania laid claim to the dependency of the Herenolia Coast which was formerly a part of the Raphanian predecessor, Tsardom of Phokland, where it went under the name of Wynland. While claimed on paper, the claim is considered ceremonial in nature and Raphania still allows United States law to superseded Raphanian decrees in that region. The Herenolia Coast consists of an uninhabited strip of land along the coast of a lake near the Raphanian leased concession. Raphania also claims the lake as Raphanian territorial waters.

On 24 June 2022, the Commonwealth of Dracul gifted the territory of "Las Verdes Colinas" (translating roughly to "The Green Hill") to the Grand Emirate of Raphania. The reasons for this stemmed from Dracul's lack of management over the territory and Raphania's desire to assume control over it and use it for micronational development. The territory had once been in part or wholly a part of several micronations before Dracul, such as the; Kingdom of Gendarania, Tsardom of Phokland, Empire of Kyberia, Federal Republic of Misladistan (from whom the former territorial flag was derived) and the Grand Imperial Empire of Lanzantonia. The area consists of a large public park with a Narrow-gauge leisure railway, several small lakes and islands, recreation areas and a small permanent carnival which serves as the administrative capital of Darvin. Upon Raphania assuming sovereignty over the area, it was designated a Raphanian ceremonial dependency under the direct administration of the Emir of Raphania, in a similar way to how the Congo Free State served as the personal territory of King Leopold II of Belgium. Following Raphania's annexation of the Colinas, it was formally renamed to Frestonburg and its flag was changed from the former Mislandistani flag to its current blue, white and red tri-color.

List of subdivisions

Name Established Administrative Center Image
Capital
Rossailles 13 October 2022 Government House Raphanian Consulate.jpg
Prefecture
Northern Raphania 15 September 2021 Al-Aarondad Frontier Raph.png
Southern Raphania 3 May 2022 Goree Goree image.jpg
Ceremonial Dependency
Garretsburg 8 October 2021 Frankville N/A
Herenolia Coast 27 April 2022 Point Bokka Herenolia 2019.png
Frestonburg 24 June 2022 Darvin Darvin skyline.jpg

Economy

Conferential Doubloon banknote of 500Δ.

The emirate possesses a relatively active and stable economy when compared to other micronations. While still officially utilizing the US Dollar for most all international transactions, internal work is progressing towards the eventual development of a stable currency for use inside the nation's borders. In addition, since annexation, the Westarctican Ice Mark has become a leading currency within the nation, allowing Raphania to latch itself onto the greater Westarctican economy as a whole. In foreign trade, due to their membership in the Conference of Santiago, Raphania utilizes the Santiago Dabloon for intermicronational financial dealings.

MicroLoans

Outside of micronationalism, Raphania participates in the issuance of MicroLoans, which are small scale financial loans issued by the Royal Treasury as part of the Molossia based Intermicronational Team Kiva. The group, made up of twenty members, was founded by President Kevin Baugh of Molossia in 2009 for the purposes of helping people in the "real world" and to "help others help themselves and to make the world a better place for all".[1][2]

Raphania has been a member of the team since September 2021.

Foreign relations

Then-Grand Emir Charles (left) poses with Stephen and Emperor AP of Aeternia (left center and right center) and Princess Cloe of Sancratosia (right) in front of the Las Vegas welcome sign at MicroCon 2022.

Prior to annexation, Raphania maintained a vast array of diplomatic ties. Following annexation, Raphania became part of and thus beholdant to Westarctica's foreign policy. However, Raphania still maintains symbolic diplomatic ties with nations and groups that it had established prior to becoming a colony, albeit under Westarctican supervision.

Bilateral diplomacy

Unofficial diplomacy

Even without a formal treaty or future capacity to make them, the Westarctican Colony of Raphania still holds meaningful diplomatic ties with several outside micronations.

International organizations

Raphania is presently a member of three super-national groups.

Geography

Rocks collected from the Homeland Prefecture as geological samples during the "Second Raphanian Expedition".

Raphania's geography is relatively consistent with its surrounding territory comprised of flat rocky terrain interspliced with desert dirt and plant life. The nation is likewise surrounded by rocky desert and hilly terrain with a variety of rock type as well as unique desert fauna dotting the landscape.

See also

External links

References

  1. About Kiva Lending Team: Intermicronational Team Kiva Kiva (www.kiva.org). Date 10 August 2009; access date 27 September 2021
  2. Members: Intermicronational Team Kiva Kiva (www.kiva.org). Date 10 August 2009; access date 27 September 2021