Raphania

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Grand Emirate of Raphania
State of Raphistan
Flag of Raphistan/Raphania
Flag
File:Altarms.png
Coat of Arms
Motto: "Better to own than to be owned"
Anthem: May we defend Raphania

National Song:
Brandenburg Concerto No. 2
Royal Seal
Raphania Seal.png
Raph map labled.png
Map of Raphania showing the main properties (blue) and associated territories (red) within the United States of America.
StatusActive
LocationArizona
CapitalGoree
LargestAl-Aarondad
Official languagesEnglish (Raphanian dialect)
DemonymRaphanian
Government
Charles I
Tony
Unrecognized Micronation
• Founding (as Rosston)
10 February 2007
• Phokland reforms
13 December 2017
• Government split
15 April 2020
• Land purchase
15 September 2021
• Independence from Graustark-Dawsbergen
1 October 2021
• Raphanian Revolution
8 April 2022
• Acres sq.
1.16
Drives on theright


Not to be confused with Rackistan or Roscamistan.
Raphistan redirects here, for the previous governmental regime see Desert Realm of Raphistan.

Raphania, also known as Raphistan, officially the Grand Emirate of Raphania or Kangdom of Raphania in raphanian english and alternatively referred to as the State of Raphistan is a self-declared "Independent and Sovereign Property" and micro proto-state, better known as a micronation, situated on two desert properties (known within Raphania as "Prefectures") made up of a 1.16 square acre property in north-eastern Arizona and another 0.32 square acre property in southern Arizona. The realm operates as a neo-absolute monarchy and is under the rulership of the properties' owner, the nation's sovereign and founder; Charles, who acts as Grand Emir of Raphania. Due to the state's special status as a separate property legally owned by the monarch both inside and outside of micronatioalism and its remote location (thus not being within any local Town or City jurisdiction), the land is able to operate with a high degree of autonomy, bordering on near complete independence, at the whim of the Grand Emir. 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, which he had heavy involvement in, 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 extend, the Emirate also takes inspiration from the micronation of Vikesland.

The country 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 a civil conflict with the previous regime, Raphania's government assumed operation of the nation on April 12, 2022 after the toppling of the regime of the Desert Realm of Raphistan under the leadership of Shah Alexander.

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 state owned personally by the founder existed in the head of Raphania's Grand Emir since the earliest days of his micronational involvement. The concept of a land owned and controlled by Charles 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, who acted as King, 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 after growing out of the fake state, 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 Doug Walker, Charles was reminded of micronationalism and of Rosston. Researching the topic further and with memories of the "good old days" flooding back to him, Charles (now in high school) and his schoolmate Brock agreed to re-enter micronationalism, renaming Rosston to the People's Republic of Phokland.

Under the new 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 in the end fall to inactivity and in April 2020 it too would come to an abrupt end following a schism within the government which tore the nation apart. with the majority of its government and citizens (excluding Charles) 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 still hold the ceremonial title "Margrave of Phokland".

Left without a state of his own, Charles would wonder the community for the next several weeks until eventually being brought into the Commonwealth of Dracul where he would serve a myriad of positions until September 2021 when after a disagreement with certain members of the nation, he would leave Dracul and return to the micronational community and go it alone with a new project, this being Graustark-Dawsbergen, which he had founded as a side venture in 2019. This 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, like Rosston before, it would go under a new name to differentiate itself and serve as a new chapter micronationally.

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 archaeological evidence, lived among the rock capped peaks of today's Al-Aarondad. Additionally, 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 territory.

For unknown reasons and at an unknown date, the Navajo would vacate the lands of Raphania, leaving only their primitive artwork behind. While unknown, a speculated reason for their departure may stem from the lack of ground water, and high salt levels in the ground making farming and large-scale pre-Columbian settlement near impossible. This lack of water would also doom another would-be settlement, this time in the modern age.

Sometime in the 1980's there was an attempt to construct a large residential neighborhood in the area. This proposed settlement included all of Raphania's territory. In preparation for construction, dirt roads were carved into the desert floor and acre sized lots were etched out for use in house construction. However, like the Navajo before them, lack of water acquisition would spell the end for the proposed community and from then on, the lands would sit empty and untouched, slowly becoming reclaimed by the desert around them. 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 a place to camp, or a place to move to in order to disconnect from the rest of society.

Founding

The events which would unfold to create Raphania date back to 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 projects and from his time in Dracul and along with other former citizens of Phokland, 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 Protectorate of Raphistan with himself as Supreme Leader.

Annexation

Before Raphistan had even been formerly established, it was decided by the nation's founder, that the state would operate as a de facto protectorate of Graustark-Dawsbergen through a personal union of the crowns. This allowed him to differentiate the two states culturally and geographically while maintaining political and sovereign unity, similar to the relationship between Westarctica and post-invasion Calsahara.

Independence

The area was initially set up as a part of Graustark-Dawsbergen however, seeing the divulging culture between the two entities and due to the fact that Graustark-Dawsbergen was beginning so slowly return to a semi-inactive state, on 1 October 2021, Charles declared the separation and independence of Raphistan under the name "Desert Realm of Raphistan". Furthermore, he declared himself Shah of the new nation and chose the new reigning name Alexander I both as a way to mark the transition to monarchy and to separate the state from his real identity in order to allow him to play almost a caricature of himself. This "caricature" would eventually come to dominate his actions within Raphistan and led to Alexander I becoming akin to an "alter-ego" its own right.

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 members, 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

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 "retire" the Shah Alexander character.

With all these factors in mind, 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 "revolutionary activities" Charles would once again take control over the state, abolishing the Shahdom and re-branding the state as a Grand Emirate with himself as Grand Emir.

In order to differentiate the new administration from the old one, Charles began utilizing Raphistan's alternative latinized name of Raphania in official correspondence and communications going forward.

Modern Era

Since founding, independence and later revolution, Raphania has quickly pushed to make a name for itself, participating in microsphere activities such as; approaching several states in the areas of diplomacy, joining a micronational MicroLoan group dedicated to offering small short-term loans to individuals in impoverished nations, partially opening Raphania up for select real-world visits as well as establishing the founding governmental institutions of the state such as the military and executive arms. Raphania also became a founding member of the North American Charter Organization, a NATO-esq micronational equivalent founded by the Commonwealth of Dracul.

Government

Old government propaganda poster

Officially, the government of Raphistan operates under an neo-absolute monarchy with the Grand Emir serving as the head of affairs and Prime Minister (the evolved form of the previous office of the Marshal) operating as a secondary creative adviser and deputy leader within the state.

Grand Emir

Royal Standard of the Grand Emir

Due to the nation's land belonging legally to the monarch and his descendants, the Grand Emir plays an integral role in the functioning of the state. In a practical sense, the Grand Emir acts as the head of government and prime representative of the state to the international community by the principal of "divine right". Because of this, all civil affairs are managed by his office. Additionally, the Grand Emir serves as ceremonial head of the nation's armed forces. The monarch is the final signatory on all legislation and can propose/accept/reject any bills he wishes. With this, the monarch can therefore also appoint and dissolve any member/arm of the government and/or nobility at their discretion (though some moves for democratization are in the works).

Like most monarchies, the office of the Grand Emir is hereditary, passing from parent to eldest child. If a female takes the crown, the title is changed to Grand Emira (the feminized form of the title).

Military

Seal of the Corps of Discovery

Prior to the Raphanian Revolution, Raphistan possessed a military known as the Raphistan Security Force. This group was responsible all military and peacekeeping operations within the realm. Following the revolution however, a new body was formed known as the "Raphanian Royal Corps of Discovery" (abbreviated to RRCD) which serves as Raphania's soul military/policing body. While the Grand Emir serves as Commander-in-Chief by default, the Supreme Commander of the RRCD is Raphistan's former Marshal Tony the Great who also serves as Prime Minister.

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.

Subdivisions

Raphania is nationally divided into five separate areas of administration; two official territories of land (known as Prefectures) with one (known as the Raphanian Homeland Prefecture) being home to the nation's capital, one consulate, one ceremonial province and one leased concession. Furthermore, the 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 territorial lands consist of the regional city of Al-Aarondad, which exists as its own district of jurisdiction, and the remainder of the area, which is known as "The Frontier". Within the Homeland Prefecture, the area is subdivided between the Raphanian capital of Goree and the rest of the land, known unofficially as the "New Territories" The capital's name is taken from the maiden name of the royal consort of Raphania, Emira Sarahann Marie Goree.

Raphania's leased concession consists of a non-contiguous territorial concession made up of two rooms and a garden all located on a residential property in Arizona. The concession was ceded to Raphanian administration due to it being the temporary residence of the nation's monarch. Plans for a for a long term "Royal Compound/Royal Estate" are in the works and the concession is expected to be surrendered sometime in 2022. The concession currently serves as the headquarters for both the office of the Grand Emir and the office of the Prime Minister (though the latter typically exercises their day-to-day duties in the nation's nearby "consulate").

The area of Garretsburg was ceded in October 2021 and consists of a citizen's personal dwelling. The area was granted for inclusion after Raphania's independence from Graustark-Dawsbergen. The primary reason for Garretsburg's creation was to serve as a mid-point for locally based Raphanian citizens and act as a location to meet and handle government affairs without having to travel to the nation's remote homeland. While allowing itself to fall under the administration of Raphania, it acts in a practical sense like a de facto consulate for the grand emirate. 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 Province of the Herenolia Coast which was formally a part of the 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. Due to this, Raphania also claims the bordering lake as Raphanian territorial waters.

Flag Name Established Capital
Prefectures
Frontier.png Raphanian Frontier 15 September 2021 Al-Aarondad
Raph heart.png Homeland 3 May 2022 Goree
Leased Concession
Raph Concession.png Royal Concession 25 August 2019 (Graustark) N/A
"Consulate"
No step.jpg Garretsburg 8 October 2021 Frankville
"Ceremonial Province"
Herenolia Coast Flag.png Herenolia Coast 27 April 2022 Point Bokka

Economy

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.

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.

Currency

While not presently possessing an official currency and in return using the US Dollar for most all transactions, plans are in the works to create a new internal currency for the nation. The currency, which is likely to be named the Raphanian Shekel will be used as novelty money, likely sold as a souvenir from the nation's webstore.

Foreign relations

As a nation state Raphania has adopted a foreign policy comparable to other micronational contemporaries, namely in terms of treaties and diplomacy. However, Raphania does, as a gesture of good will, de facto recognize all declared nation-states of the world. Additionally, through the crown and office of the Grand Emir, while no official embassies or consulates from Raphania have been established within any micronation, individual diplomatic envoys are able to routinely be dispatched to speak on the behalf of the monarch and subsequently for the realm.

Bilateral diplomacy

Mutual diplomacy is maintained with several countries around the world, many of which were founded under the reign of Shah Alexander and were subsequently carried over after the change in administration.

Unofficial diplomacy

Even without a formal treaty to establish relations, Raphania still holds meaningful unofficial cultural and trade relationships with other states.

Unilateral recognition

Raphania recognizes certain individual governments in exile, though they do not typically recognize Raphania in return.

Former relations

Raphania has had past relations with states which for one reason or another no longer presently exist.

Geography

Raphanian Frontier and surrounding areas.

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.

Culture

Flag of Garretsburg, Raphania on a citizen’s car.

Among the citizenry of Raphania (namely among Raphanians), culture is very reminiscent of south-western American culture, mixed in with some traditions borrowed from the culture of Mexico. Within the nation, gun-culture is widespread with most citizens of the state being gunowners themselves. Additionally, a love of the outdoors and a shared interest in the desert nature is a trait often expressed by the Raphanian people, notably within the government and ruling dynasty.

While engaged in Raphanian activities, citizens often participate in things such as hiking, storytelling, stargazing and rock-climbing. Camping in forests and other such recreational areas is also very common among Raphanian citizens with the government actively encouraging members to spend time outside and connect with the land and its surroundings.

Online, citizens also share a common culture within Raphania's digital services, such as the nation's Discord server. A mutual lighthearted attitude regarding the community exists among online members and citizens can often be found conversing about a wide variety of subjects, playing online video games and sharing memes as well as other digital media that they may come across.

National symbols

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

Like most nations of the world, Raphania holds dear several cultural and political symbols of national importance. These include items such as the flag, the coat of arms, the royal seal and more abstract symbols of statehood, such as the national anthem. Other symbols of the state include plant life such as the Desert Goldenrod and indigenous wildlife like the Pronghorn Antelope and the Arizona Bobcat.

Trivia

  • The Raphanian Frontier is slightly larger than the Homeland Province of the Republic of Molossia in physical size; at 1.16 acres compared to Molossia's 1.3 acres.
  • Raphania was heavily inspired by the Kingdom of Calsahara, formed by Travis McHenry back in 2009, located in the California desert.
  • In addition to Calsahara, Raphania was greatly inspired by the middle-eastern nations of Imperial Iran, Afghanistan, Kuait and by the historical Ottoman Empire.
  • The property that currently makes up Raphania was not the first choice for the nation's location, with the founder attempting to first make an unsuccessful bid to purchase a half acre plot in the nearby city of Holbrook, Arizona.
  • The national drink in Raphania is Mead which is brewed locally by the nation's Prime Minister who also works as a homebrewer.
  • Besides the national anthem, the royal song of Raphania is an adaptation of God Save the King.

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