Holy Republic of FRID

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Holy Republic of FRID
Flag of FRID
Flag
Motto: "It's just jazz, baby." (unofficial)
Location of FRID
StatusActive (as of November 2022)
LocationChicago, Illinois
CapitalYork
Official languagesNone at the federal level
Recognised national languagesEnglish
DemonymFridian
GovernmentTheocratic republic
• Prime Minister
Ian Southwell (removed 1 July 2022)
• Highest Councilor
Luke Wallace
LegislatureHigh Council
Establishment16 May 2021
• Last province admitted
25 July 2021
Area
• Total
12.27 km2 (4.74 sq mi)
• Water (%)
~3%
Population
• Census
22
Membership16
CurrencyUnited States dollar ($) (USD)
Time zoneCST (UTC-6)
IMSO 1 codeFRD
National animalStag
  1. First province is sometimes cited as being established March 1977.
  2. HRF has incorporated territories in Hawaii and Iowa.
  3. Data values listed regards only official provinces.

The Holy Republic of FRID (ɛf-ɑr-aɪ-di), also known as the HRF or simply FRID, is an unrecognized nation that is based in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. The republic consists of four provinces and five territories throughout the suburbs, many of which are densely wooded regions or expansive prairies. While the HRF technically operates within 4.74 square miles (12.27 km) of territory, the HRF typically only considers provincial territory in its records. This equivalents to 44 acres. Despite its small size, the HRF has a strong military force, and developed infrastructure. The Holy Republic of FRID claims to have "one of the most extensive railroad networks of any micronation", owning and operating nearly 20,774 feet of track. The HRF's military force has aimed its resources at safely handling micronational conflicts, in addition to offering assistance to allied nations.

History

The first flag planted at the HRF's Central Province.

The Holy Republic of FRID stems from the satirical Holy Church of FRID, a religious group revolving around an inaccurate week-long calendar. After a proposal by the Minister of Foreign Relations, conceptions of the Holy Republic of FRID were underway. The church's jurisdiction group would be reformed as the main governing branch and officially dubbed, the High Council. The first actions under the new title were carried out on 5 March 2021. This is often considered the date of establishment for the HRF, though the official date is 16 May 2021. While the HRF was established in 2021, its history dates back to the 1950's, when many of the provinces were discovered or first documented. For ease of organization, the HRF's history is separated into three phases: Territorial discovery (1950-2000), The Holy Church of FRID (2000-2021), and The Holy Republic of FRID (2021–present).

The official founding of the republic occurred approximately at 4:00 p.m. on 16 May 2021, when 3 members of the high council and the newest citizen planted a temporary flag on one of the first territories claimed, officially overseeing the dawn of the HRF. The makeshift flag was a printed piece of 11x8 with a plastic bag protecting from rain. Since then, the flag has been removed in place of a polyester one.

The origin of "FRID" can be traced back to an inaccurate week-long calendar. On the calendar, the days of the week had several missing letters, including Friday, leading to the formation of the celebratory day known as "FRID". The original government was controlled directly by the Holy Church of FRID, claiming to be "the oligarchic rulers of the nation." The church's governing committee was soon titled the "High Council" and consisted of 6 seats. After receiving much criticism by the population, the church was removed as the exclusive governing body, though still retained most legislative control. Despite this, the reformed government was still called the High Council, and the 6 seat system remained in place. In August 2021, the High Council announced plans of a third reformation, aimed at rebuilding legislation processes away from the Holy Church of FRID's simplistic methods. The new reform was intended to completely separate the Church's laws from the HRF's and the subsequent governing procedures. The actual reformation process occurred between October 2021 to January 2022. The reformation debates took longer than initially anticipated and the nation temporary stalled. The reformation debates have reportedly ended in early March 2022. Only days after, the reformation process was temporary postponed due to the Midlothian war.

Between May and August 2021, the HRF saw its largest growth. During this time, the Eastern, Southeastern, and Western provinces were officially registered as part of the HRF, in addition to creating three new departments and the acquisition of the Growler Program. This expansion increased the size of the HRF from 9 to over 44 acres of total land. After much discussion, it was decided that the limestone mines in the central region would be added to the HRF's GDP in late August.

In late September 2021, the Department of Provinces released a statement announcing the cancellation of many of its operations, promising to restart most in 2022. This was soon followed by many other departments, including the Department of Defense, to postpone their own projects and operations. It was revealed that the abrupt cancellation of most of the HRF's projects was an intentional decision by the High Council, which urged many government departments and agencies to postpone many of their projects until the following year. Cancelling many projects allowed for the council to focus on reformation, while also acting as a cost saving measure for the following year. From November, 2021, to January, 2022, the HRF slowed down most of its activities to focus on reformation. In January, the High Council announced it will make its final decision in February, and that operations will resume as they once were the year prior. However, this never came into fruition with the beginning of the Salt Creek Revolution.

Salt Creek Revolution

On July 1, 2022, several provinces in the western and southwestern regions of the HRF announced their secession from the republic due to the political turmoil during the HRF's reformation. The territories claimed independence and joined to create the Salt Creek Republic. Leading the newly independent state was the former HRF minister of foreign relations, Ian Southwell. Shortly after declaring independence, the Salt Creek Republic declared war on the HRF, which was still undergoing reformation at that time. The High Council announced that the reformation were to be postponed and "emergency actions" would be taken. In accordance with the HRF's Domestic Threat and Conflict Response (DTCR) procedure, the military would be mobilized immediately and placed at key positions across the republic. According to DTCR procedure, the church has political power removed during domestic military conflicts.

Due to logistical complications for both sides, only a few skirmishes were reported to have occurred between July to late September 2022. In late July 2022, the Department of Defense reportedly placed an order for a new tank program. This was later confirmed in early August when the Chicago & Iowa Armored Company won the contract for the design and production of a new tank.

Around mid-August 2022, the HRF launched a small force to recapture the railroad bridges in Bearcrik. However, this ultimately failed due to SCR forces cutting off the only supply route just days later. Both sides experienced minimal losses. Around the same time it was reported that SCR forces attacked an HRF installation located along the Salt Creek river.

Battle of East Gillespie

On 2 October 2022, SCR revolutionaries had infiltrated the HRF's central province. A video was sent depicting two men desecrating the HRF flag. Photos showing evidence of vandalism and destruction of property by the SCR were also sent out. In response, a small HRF border protection force was mobilized and arrived within the same hour the video was received. However, the small, inexperienced force was outnumbered and was forced to retreat. About 1 to 2 hours later, the HRF army arrived in trucks and drove the SCR force out of the main area of the central province. The SCR revolutionaries attempted to use the high ground and the protection of the trees to ambush the HRF force who were positioned in the open gravel courtyard. The SCR revolutionaries only arrived on foot, and could not outrun the HRF's trucks. In addition, the SCR did not have ranged weapons and could not be effective against the HRF's non-lethal firearms. The battle's conclusion was largely indecisive, with the SCR occupying a large portion of the central province, but there were many faults revealed in the revolutionaries' supply situation after the mobilization and arrival of the HRF forces.

Provinces

The HRF is currently divided into six different regions: Central, Northern, Eastern, Southeastern, Southwestern, and the newly founded Western. Within these are their corresponding provinces, with the exception of Southwestern, which still does not have an official province. As of writing, information regarding Northern, Eastern, and Southwestern provinces has remained classified.

A film photograph of the HRF warehouse at the Central Province.

Central Province (Gillespie)

The Central Province, also known as "Gillespie", is the most developed province, and is roughly 201,111 square feet in total. It contains dense brush, open plains, and woods. Several infrastructure and terraining projects have been conducted, with several shelters being completed in July 2021. One section of the province runs parallel to the railroad and is used for HRF vehicles to travel to and from the province. This area is sometimes used by the railroad to store materials for infrastructure improvements. The province is separated into seven subdivisions: main & overlooks, the courtyard, east, open-zone, west forest, the markets, and industrial/field. These names are unofficial. Main areas of the province are guarded by a main gate on the east side, while another entrance is located west. Motor-vehicles can only enter through the main gate. Gillespie was attacked in early October 2022 by a small group of SCR revolutionaries, also known as "Creekers." The group had vandalized and destroyed several structures. The group remained in the area for an estimated hour before being forced out by HRF forces in military trucks. The SCR claims to occupy the western sector of Gillespie, but the HRF has yet to officially recognize this.

Film photo of Gillespie province facing west. (circa July 2022)

Southeastern Province

The Southeastern Region is the second most developed region, and the only province with multiple separated territories. At one point, it was the busiest province in the HRF for over four months. In total, the four territories make up 862,240 square feet. SE1 is the largest territory and contains long grass plains bordered by hills and trees. It is primary used as a testing site, with an established entrance for vehicles or larger transport. The easternmost area of the Southeastern Province is suitable for vehicle testing and parking for larger projects. Outpost Alpha is the main entrance to the province, with a watchtower overlooking the area. Other outposts include Outpost Hotel, Outpost Bravo, and Outpost Echo, though all of which are currently still pending approval as official outposts. Further information regarding the Southeastern Province has remained classified.

Western Province Creek (Photo taken during the "Louis and Clark but epic" expedition)

Cease of Operations

In late 2021, the HRF shifted its focus away from the Southeastern region due to shifted interests, likely related to government reformation debates which began to occur around the same time. Simultaneously, the region—specifically northern SE1— became a slightly controversial area due to reasons surprisingly unrelated to HRF operations. In September 2021, the HRF Department of Provinces announced it will be ceasing most operations, both military and civil, until March 2022. While the Southeastern region was busiest region in the HRF for nearly four months, most projects were required to leave the Southeastern area. The DoP mandated that all projects not temporary suspended were to be moved to the Central region unless stated otherwise. Due to other project cancellations by the military and High Council, remaining projects were also moved to the Central region, leaving the Southeastern provinces to the municipal public works division.

Creek Valley Overlook in the Western Province, now SCR territory. (Photo taken during the "Louis and Clark but epic" expedition)


A film photograph of the HRF's eastern province. Circa December 2021.

Other Provinces

Other provinces within the HRF are the Northern and Eastern provinces. Little information has been publicly released on these provinces. Fay is a new territory and is intended to be a future province.

Northern Province

The Northern Province or simply known as "North" was the second province founded. The area is comprised of grass plaines and a single large hill. Atop the hill lies a small outpost and dense tree coverage. In the winter, the hill is often used for sledding. In 2021, the province was frequently used as a testing site for the HRF's short-lived rocketry program. When it was founded, North was a hub for military activity, but the majority of operations had moved to the Southeastern Province in mid-2021.

Eastern Province

The Eastern Province is mainly used for recreation. Soccer matches are commonly held in the north area, while middle area is used for sledding and other recreational activities. The railroad runs along the province. The Project Growler tank was loaded onto a train car in the Eastern Province to be shipped to Iowa.

Fay Territory

"Fay" is the HRF's most recent territorial claim. The area is claimed to have been discovered when a team stumbled upon it while on a lunch run. The area is still pending to be officially recognized as a province. Fay was, for only two months, one of the seceded territories that became part of the SCR. However, the SCR found the area to be less useful as originally expected. While under SCR's control, the main area was left overgrown and could only be traversed by 4x4s. In mid-September 2022, the HRF reclaimed the area, but has yet to conduct cleaning efforts.

International Outposts

In April 2022, the HRF announced that it would start operating a small outpost called "Mahai'ula" in Kalaoa, Hawaii, United States. The outpost is located in a small cove of the same name north of Kona International Airport. The outpost has four buildings, currently in the process of restoration. The main building is known as "Kalāhíkíola," named after the former family who owned the property. It is built partially on a beach and overlaps over the surrounding lava rock. In accordance with Hawaiian law, the complex is technically public property. However, the buildings are private. Excluding the waters within the cove, the outpost is roughly 116,928 ft². The outpost began operations in June 2022.

Seceded Provinces

In July 2022, two provinces had declared independence from the HRF and are now part of the Salt Creek Republic.

Western Province

The Western Province was the last and largest addition to the HRF, spanning 1,062,583 square feet (98,717 m²). The province has since seceded and is now part of the Salt Creek Republic. Within the province was a former HRF military base. It has since been taken over by the SCR and renamed "Bearcrik."

On 7/25/21, the HRF decided to expand its borders, giving way to the new region and corresponding province. While still under the control of the HRF, the Western Province was nicknamed "Creek Valley," due to the winding river at which the province is located. Unlike most other HRF provinces, there is no vehicle access for the Western Province. Within the Western Province is the bridge intersection between the Union Pacific Subdivision and the Canadian National Subdivision. This location is known as the "Creek Valley Overlook," and was a key position in the HRF.

Southwestern Province

The Southwestern province was the smallest of the registered provinces. It is mostly wooded with a few patches of steep, grassy hills, and borders the Salt Creek River. It is relatively close to the former Western province. Like the Western province, the Southwestern province declared independence from the HRF and is now part of the Salt Creek Republic. It is now the location of the SCR's capital, "St. Allison."

While still within the HRF, the Southwestern province began to see some attention in late August 2021 before provincial operations were postponed in November of the same year. The province allows for easy access to the western province and salt creek. Several trails had been made in the forested regions which are optimal for bikes. Unfortunately, the province suffers from a mild trash problem. Garbage is sometimes blown over from highways and others washed up from the creek, making it hard to regulate cleanliness in the region.

A standard HRF report

Departments, agencies, and commissions

The HRF currently has eight (though, arguably nine) departments, agencies, and commissions. The HRF Board of Departments and Agencies (BDA) is the parental organization and assembly of the HRF's departments, agencies, and commissions.

Department of Provinces

The HRF's Department of Provinces is one of the most active departments. The DoP is responsible for assessing, documenting, and overseeing the five provinces. This includes planning out projects such as bridges, buildings, and terraining within a province. In addition, the DoP determines provincial borders. The DoP is not responsible for outposts, as these are under control of the military. One of the major achievements by the DoP was to calculate the square footage of each province, which took over three weeks. Beneath the Department of Provinces is the Territorial Expansion Division.

Territorial Expansion Division

The Territorial Expansion Division (or T.E.D.) is responsible for determining future territory, as well as mapping out new provinces and carrying out terraining projects. When a new territory is proposed, it is under the authority of TED until a formal report has been made to the Department of Provinces. Once a territory has been labeled under the HRF's control, the authority is passed on to the DoP. A notable mission by the Territorial Expansion Division is known as the "Louis and Clark but Epic" expedition, carried out in July 2021. The mission uncovered what is now the Western Province and has been deemed one of the most successful missions in the T.E.D. The expedition has led to further missions in the Western Region and has since been labeled as the "Western Campaign." Later missions have included building trails and bridges in the dense wooded regions along Creek Valley.

Department of Defense

The HRF Department of Defense is responsible for coordinating international and national security as well as supervising the Fridian Defense Force and its operations. The DoD has played a major role in creating systems aimed at handling organized micronational conflicts. In addition, the DoD is charged with Project Growler's budget and other operations regarding the program.

National Planning Commission

The National Planning Commission (NPC) simply is responsible for the national agenda. When the High Council passes a new project or plan of any kind, it is the NPC's job of fitting it into the national agenda.

HRF Archival Agency

The Archival Agency was the first agency created by the HRF. It originates from the Holy Church of FRID's archival group, until the HRF was formed. Its role is to document and archive any report, assessment, law, proposal, photographs, etc. into the national archives.

Department of Transportation

The HRF's Department of Transportation acts in much the same ways as the United States equivalent. The DoT is responsible for the HRF's many transportation systems, including railroads, airspace, and even the postal service. In addition, the DoT has worked in tandem with the Department of Defense in supplying transportation for Project Growler.

National Railroad Administration

The National Railroad Administration (also known as the Department of Railroads) is a new department created by the HRF after a proposal by the Territorial Expansion Division, as well as the Department of Provinces. After the Western Region was created in July 2021, the HRF controlled roughly 5,685 ft (1733 m) of track. This included an abandoned railroad siding and three bridges. Once the proposal by the T.E.D. and DoP passed, the NRA was created in late July, going into effect in August of 2021. Originally, the title was planned to be the Federal Railroad Administration, though confusion between the HRF and United States's FRA led the High Council to settle with the National Railroad Administration. The main role of the NRA is to create agreements with the local railroads, as well as maintain rail bridges in the area. On August 5, 2021, the National Railroad Administration sealed an agreement with Union Pacific that would allow the HRF to continue using the Central Province's main entrance. In addition, the U.P.R.R. would continue to have full trackage rights, while the NRA would be responsible for maintaining Union Pacific's bridges. Tracks within the Eastern Province will have remained under the control of Union Pacific. As of writing, the National Railroad Administration has yet to sign an agreement with Canadian National, the other local railroad.

Fridian Postal Service

The Fridian Postal Service (FPS) is an experimental organization under the authority of the Department of Transportation. Like any other national postal carrier, the FPS is charged with the distribution of mail within the HRF. As of August 2021, the FPS is only used for handling governmental papers and has not yet reached the civilian population. The FPS is still undergoing development and has not yet been deemed an official organization in the HRF.

HRF Armed Forces

The Fridian Armed Forces consists of only two primary branches: the Fridian Army and the Expanded Service. The Armed Forces are largely managed by the Fridian Defense Council. The branches and components of the Fridian Armed Forces are somewhat confusing in the sense that the Expanded Service is treated not as much as an independent branch such as a navy or air force, but rather a subsidiary wing of the Fridian Army. The reason for the odd branch organization is that the Fridian Defense Council wanted to prevent the creation of major branches, such as a navy or air force, that would be left inactive and/or under-utilized; something of a common theme amongst other micronations. Rather than having a specialized naval or air branch in the HRF, they are linked to the Expanded Service in an attempt eliminate redundancy. Branches of the Fridian Army include the Signal Corps, Republic Armored Corps, and the Fridian Combat Engineers. The Republic Naval Service and Republic Marines are linked to the Expanded Service.

Originally, when the country was still fairly new, the HRF had only a single branch known as the Fridian Defense Force (FDF) before the creation of the Fridian Army. The FDF was essentially a regular army that specialized in handing conflicts within the HRF's borders. Shortly after the start of the Midlothian War, the Fridian Army was created if the HRF was to ever join the conflict. The two branches were merged together as one when the Salt Creek Revolution began.

Fridian Army

The Fridian Army is separated into three branches: standard service, technical service, and advanced service. Standard service is the primary military group focused on micronational warfare and advanced non-lethal combat. The technical service is a more diverse service focused on engineering and technical applications for combat. Under the technical service lies the Republic Armored Corps, Signal Corps, and the Fridian Combat Engineers. The advanced service is a new branch which is still undergoing development. Personnel in the advanced service are trained for modern combat with advanced equipment. The advanced service has not yet been implemented nor shall be used for micronational conflicts. New personnel must undergo a basic training course before selecting their desired branch. The standard FDF uniform is a blend of inspiration from many countries from the Second World War and the Cold War. Components of the uniform closely resembles uniforms of the Canadian Army.

Signal Corps

The Signal Corps is one of the most active branches of the FDF, working closely with the Department of Provinces and the Territorial Expansion Division. As of writing, the Signal Corps has primarily focused on creating a communication network for all HRF military branches, as well as monitoring rail network radios, defect detectors, and emergency frequencies. The primary channel used by HRF personnel is CB radio channel 14 (27.125 MHz). Alternative communication channels have remained classified.

Republic Armored Corps

The Republic Armored Corps (RAC) is a small branch tasked with operating tanks or armored fighting vehicles (AFV's) of the HRF. The branch was active while Project Growler was still active, but was no longer needed when the project was canceled. After the end of Project Growler, members of the RAC were reassigned to either the Signal Corps or the Fridian Army's standard service, whichever they chose. "Tankers" of the RAC have underwent several changes to their uniforms. The first standard issue uniform was a navy blue jumpsuit, similar to those of Soviet tankers of the Second World War. This series of uniforms are sometimes, though not officially, known as the Series 1. The second and current issued uniform, or Series 2, are now tan colored and are no longer jumpsuits. They are now closer in resemblance to British tanker uniforms, also from the Second World War. Brown colored sweaters are issued for winter operations. Tank crews are not equipped with helmets and their headsets only ofter light ear protection over their berets. This has caused some noise concerns with some of the tankers.

Expanded Service

In mid-2021, the Fridian Defense Council proposed the Fridian Military Service Expansion Program (FMSEP), which would see the creation of a navy branch and an air branch. The proposal did not pass the High Council citing the lack of necessity for specialized service branches. In early 2022, the FMSEP was revised and a navy service would be created. However, rather than it being a specialized branch, the navy service would be the naval warfare service component of the Fridian Army, similar to the United States Army Air Corps before it became the USAAF. Not long after, the Expanded Service branch was created, and the naval service was moved to this new branch. The service was then officially designated as the Republic Army Naval Service.

Multi-Branch Personnel System

The HRF is one of the few countries where military personnel may be in service in multiple branches, as long as the enlistee is eligible. All personnel must be registered with one primary branch and pass all basic training courses in said branch before applying to an alternative military branch. If the enlistee is eligible, they will be registered in their applied branch as a reserve. Many tank crews in the HRF are also registered with the Fridian Combat Engineers due to their similarities in combat roles.

Declassified drawing of the Pz. 38(t)-HR

Notable Projects

The HRF puts substantial funding towards project development. Several projects have been created, many of which were light vehicles which never left the drawing board or were quickly canceled due to limited funding.

"Project Growler"

Project Growler was a classified report that surfaced in mid-2021. The project aimed at creating a cost-effective, heavily mobile main battle tank for micronational conflicts. Early development began under Broadside Armored Contracts in 2019. However, the newly founded Holy Republic of FRID took over the program after the tank left BAC bankrupt in 2021. The partially completed hull was transferred from Colorado to Chicago, Illinois on Fridian turf in order to complete construction of a functioning prototype.

In August 2021, a costly accident occurred which severely damaged the tank's suspension, leaving it immobilized. Repairs proved to be too expensive, forcing the project to come to a halt. In 2022, the prototype was transferred from Chicago to DeWitt, Iowa. According to a record from the FDF engineering department in January, the prototype was first transported by rail between Chicago and Clinton, Iowa, until being transferred to a flatbed truck for the rest of the journey.

In February 2022, the HRF announced the project's cancellation, citing financial issues. Despite its failures, it is often considered the HRF's most successful military project.

Troop Transports

After the Fridian Defense Force was created in early 2021, the FDF looked to developing a low-cost troop transport that could be easily converted to HRF specifications. The FDF chose a design by the Struck Corporation that would double as an "all-round workhorse" for general military needs, as well as offering apparent amphibious capabilities. However, a spike in resource cost in 2021 led the FDF to look towards alternative designs. The HRF ended up choosing the Land Rover Defender as its primary vehicle. As for the Struck design, the project was shelved and was never officially canceled.

As of writing, all general-purpose 4x4s are now vintage Land Rovers.

Panzer 38(t)-HR

The Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) "Heilige Republik" was an early concept to assist in the mechanization of the HRF. The tank would be a stripped-down, part-wood, part steel-built tank based on the original ČKD LT vz. 38 tank design. The project was canceled after track sections (specifically the hinging mechanisms) proved too unreliable to be put into service, as well as mechanical issues with the main armament's custom recoiling system. The wooden hull was left uncompleted and was sold a few months later. After the acquisition of the Growler Program, the idea of developing and constructing a WWII light tank design was made obsolete.

ERC-77 "Sadie"

After the failed Panzer 38(t) project, the HRF began conceptualizing ideas for an alternative tank design, one which would use wheels instead of tracks. Thus, the ERC-77 was proposed by HRF engineers in response to this idea. The ERC-77 would be based of the French Panhard ERC-90 and would function in most the same way, utilizing six individual traction wheels. The tank would use a 105-millimeter rifled gun, laser range-finding equipment, and optional night vision capabilities. It would have an estimated top speed of 56 miles-per-hour (90 km/h). Due to the complexity of the project, the tank has never left the drawing board. Although the project was put on hold after the acquisition of the Growler Program, the design may be re-opened due to the recent failures of the BAC prototype.

Diplomacy and politics

The Holy Republic of FRID currently recognizes all member states of the Grand Unified Micronational, and the United Nations, with exception of two countries by request and recommendation by the Minister of Foreign Relations. In August 2021, The Holy Republic of FRID has received recognition from the Republic of Avalonia via a mutual recognition, on the condition that the Holy Republic of FRID recognize their sovereignty as well. The two nations would later co-found the Assembly of Chicagoland Micronations, alongside notable nations such as the Federal Union of Wegmat, Democratic Weimar Republic, and Saspearian. The Holy Republic of FRID was an early member state of the AUDIMN, leaving shortly before its dissolution in late September 2021.

October 2021 - January 2022 Reformation Debates

Between October 2021 and late January 2022, the Holy Republic of FRID underwent a period of frequent debating within the High Council regarding over whether-or-not to re-form the theocracy into a more traditional republic. While many initially agreed with this decision, several problems quickly arose, with the state's identity and title being at the forefront. By reforming the government away from a theocracy, the title of "Holy" in the state's name would have to be removed. Council members unanimously agreed that FRID must be retained as part of the state's identity, regardless of any changes to the state's title. Leading up to this, the HRF government started to pass policies and operate without first consulting the Holy Church of FRID. It was eventually argued that the HRF was no longer a theocracy at all. The reformation was first proposed in August, but debates did not officially begin until October. The HRF began cancelling many of its projects in September to focus on the reformation.

Through this debate, there has formed factionalism, which has gone hand-in-hand with the only official political party in the nation, the Populis Party, a right-wing party that advocates for the removal of the church as the base of power, and the installment of a government system that is much more powerful, and draws power from regular elections, though frays away from a direct democracy, with the founder Ian Southwell proclaiming on the 10th of January 2022, "Democracy is cringe, read some Aristotle."

Another issue which arose was the council's attempt at not letting the Holy Church of FRID go unnoticed, regardless of the new reformation. The High Council's decision proposals were mixed, with some advocating for the church to have its own representative seat, while others wish to remove the church's governmental power completely.

These debates are what later led Ian Southwell and several provinces to leave the HRF and the beginning of the Salt Creek Revolution.

Salt Creek Secession

As the reformation debates continued long past initially expected, the debate sessions began to fall apart. By January 2022, both sides still could not agree on the fate of the Holy Church of FRID. After January, the number of debate sessions decreased to one per month. Around March, the Holy Church of FRID began to exercise the little remaining power it held in an effort to secure its political influence in the HRF. This angered several provincial representatives and Ian Southwell's ideas gained increasing support. In June 2022, Southwell and representatives, mainly ones in the Salt Creek region, held a private meeting regarding a potential secession. It is suspected that the Holy Church was informed of this event a week later, but had dismissed it. On July 1st, 2022, Southwell announced the secession of three provinces and the creation of the Salt Creek Republic.

Arts and culture

Being a theocratic state, the Holy Republic of FRID draws most, if not all of their core traditions and customs from Fridism. However, the diverse community within the HRF has paved the way for new traditions. A unique trait of the HRF compared to other micronations is the common use of analog technology. Government photographs are often shot on film stock rather than digital media.

Music

The HRF continues to maintain its American and Chicago heritage, with music being a backbone of the nation's culture. Fridian culture encompasses a wide variety of different music genres, though the jazz genre is the most influential, with bebop, bossa nova, and free jazz of the 1960s are some of the most popular types. Charles Mingus has been a particular favorite. His "chaotic yet orderly" compositions have led to what is now known as "Fridian Jazz" (also known as "Mingus Jazz"), a typically fast tempo piece with a dissonant feel, similar to early progressive jazz of the 1960s. Many of FRID's popular jazz compositions also contain latin influences such as bossa nova. Charles Mingus' "Moanin' " topped the charts in the summer of 2021, with Dexter Gordon's "Blue Bossa" in second place. 2022 saw a resurgence in 1970s era jazz, with Chick Corea and Maynard Ferguson rising in popularity.

Food

Fridians stay true to their Chicagoan heritage. This includes the statewide ban on all hot-dogs with ketchup condiments. However, this ban has led to conflicts on what legally denotes as a "hot-dog." The national dessert of the HRF is molten chocolate cake, a popular dessert that combines the elements of a chocolate cake and a soufflé. Another popular treat enjoyed by many Fridians is chocolate. Fridian chocolate is typically darker than other American chocolates and is more similar in style to European.

Industry

A photo of one of the crushing facilities at the HRF's limestone quarry.

The main industries in the HRF are rail, telecommunications, mining, and logging. Nearly all imports into the HRF are from the United States, with the exception of occasional imports from Canada and the EU. The HRF's main exports are primarily lumber, corn, gravel, sand, and limestone. Lumber typically comes from the central or western regions, while gravel, sand, and limestone are excavated in the central region. Corn is grown and harvested in the southwestern and southeastern regions. Nearly all exports are shipped on rail.

Gravel, Sand, and Limestone

Open-pit limestone mining is the HRF's largest industry, making "well over half" of the nations GNP. Three quarries reside in the HRF, with one having been retired in 1992. The primary export is dolomitic limestone, a combination of calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate. Dolomite is rich in magnesium and is commonly found in most animal feeds. The product is also used in many stone-based materials such as cement. Most of the HRF's dolomitic limestone is used for cement, bitumen mixes, and also as a flux in blast furnaces. Sand is typically shipped from Wisconsin by rail to be used for the production of ready-mix concrete. Nearly all track roadbeds in the HRF and surrounding areas are made at the Central Province's facilities. The product is often shipped out with the Union Pacific Railroad.

Transportation

Railroads

A westbound CNW train in 1995. Towards the left is the area which would later become the HRF's Central Province. The limestone mine can be seen in the distance.

The Holy Republic of FRID boasts having supposedly the most extensive rail networks of any micronation. The HRF contains five bridges and roughly 20,774 feet of track in its borders, with 2,164 feet owned and operated by the state itself. The HRF has been able to work in close cooperation with Union Pacific and Canadian National through the National Railroad Administration. With the Trackage Act of 2021, the HRF has been responsible for maintaining four of the railroads' bridges, assisting in track assessments, and monitoring radio frequencies for emergencies. The HRF lends its acquired track to Union Pacific to store maintenance-of-way equipment or freight cars.

Although the HRF's stretch of track sees dozens of passenger services each day, the HRF is not responsible for these services and primarily focuses on freight consists.

Air Transport

In the Southeastern Region, a small baseball field was converted into a makeshift helipad, intended to be used only for small helicopters. This area is occasionally used to transport goods by air, though nearly all shipments are by truck or rail. Helicopters can only idle no longer than 10 minutes due to noise concerns. The feasibility of using the makeshift helipad was brought into question when it was quickly discovered that prop wash from helicopters would create larger than expected dust clouds from the infield dirt. Because of this, it is not uncommon for helicopters to land in the outfield instead. However, landing in this area is challenging as trees closely border the field.

See also