|Desert Realm of Raphistan|
Kangdom of Raphistan
Motto: "Tis' better to own that to be owned"
Anthem: March of the Shah
National Song: Happy Together
Aerial map of Raphistan
|Official languages||English (Raphistani dialect)|
|Tony the Great|
• Rosston foundation
|10 February 2007|
• Phokland reformed
|13 December 2017|
• Phoklandian incident
|15 April 2020|
• Raphistan reforms
|15 September 2021|
• Independence from Graustark-Dawsbergen
|1 October 2021|
• Acres sq.
|Drives on the||right|
Raphistan, also known as Raphania, officially the Desert Realm of Raphistan or Kangdom of Raphistan in raphistani english is a self-declared "Independent and Sovereign Property", better known as a micronation, situated on a 1.16 square acre property in the deserts of north-eastern Arizona. The realm operates as a semi-absolute monarchy and is under the rulership of the property's owner, the nation's sovereign and founder; Charles von Graustark, who goes under the reigning name of "Shah Alexander I" which acts as a pseudo-caricature of von Graustark. Due to the Desert Realm'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 Shah. However, Raphistan still recognizes the superiority of the United States and while declaring itself as a de jure independent and seperate entity, still de facto recognizes the County, State and national authorities of the US.
Raphistan's creation was heavily inspired by the experiences of it's creator who had 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 Raphistan, that being to portray themselves as a unique project of creativity all the while embracing the eccentric nature of their very existance.
The nation attributes its name to the Catholic Archangel and Saint Raphael. This was chosen as the angel is Charles von Graustark's Patron Saint and thus his saint's name in accordance with Catholic tradition.
The history of Raphistan 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 Raphistan's Shah since the earliest days of his micronational involvement. The concept of a land owned and controlled by Charles von Graustark dates back to his first "micronational" project in 2007.
The earliest traces of what would one day be Raphistan date back to February 10th 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 it's 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 of 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 Lang agreed to re-enter micronationalism, renaming Rosston to the People's Republic of Phokland.
Phokland, like its predecessor, would in the end fall to inactivity and in April of 2020 it too would come to an ubrupt end following a scism 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 relenquished its land claims becoming akin to a nomadic government in exile under Charles who would still hold the title of "Margrave of Phokland.
Left witout 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 miriad of positions until September of 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 mew 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 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.
The events which would unfold to create Raphistan date back to late August of 2021 when after departing the Commonwealth of Dracul, founder Charles von Graustark found himself looking to re-enter the micronational world at the healm 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 and aquire a property in the name of the nation. While undergoing the search for usable land, Charles came accross an acre of territory in the north-eastern deserts of Arizona (the same state he resided in) which was up for sale. Seeing the affordable nature of the land and seeing an opertunity to start a new project with a "clean slate", Charles' purchased the land and shorthy thereafter he declared the formation of the Protectorate of Raphistan with himself as Supreme Leader.
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 pre-invasion Calsahara.
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 October 1st 2021, Charles declared the seperation 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 seperate the state from his real identity in order to allow him to play almost a caricature of himself.
Shortly prior to independence, in late September, some of Charles' real life co-workers and friends became intrested in the project and joined as citizens and government members, furthering Charle's opinion that the new nation would operate primarily within the real world with its foundational core made up of individuals living in a close proximity of eachother.
Since founding and later independence, Raphistan 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 ofering small short-term loans to individuals in impoverished nations, opening Raphistan up for camping and visits as well as establishing the founding governmental institutions of the state such as the military and executive arms.
Officially, the government of Raphistan operates under an absolute monarchy. However in practice, the state is ran more like a military dictatorship with the Shah serving as the head of civil affairs and symbolic head of the military and a Marshal operating the day-to-day goings on of the military and helping to push forward legislation which concerns state security.
Due to the nation's land belonging legally to the monarch and his descendants, the Shah plays an integural role in the functioning of the state. In a practical sense, the Shah acts as the head of government and prime representative of the state to the international community. Because of this, most civil affairs are managed by his office. Additionally, the Shah serves as ceremonial head of the nation's armed forces. The Shah is the final signatory on all legislation and can propose/accept/reject any bills he wishes. With this, the Shah can therefor also appoint and dismiss any member of the government and/or nobility at his discression (though some moves for democratization are in the works).
Like most monarchies, the office of the Shah is hereditary, passing from parent to eldest child. If a direct heir is not able to be found or appointed, the powers of the crown would be invested temporarily in a regency under the Marshal of the military who would act under the title "Supreme Leader" until a legal owner of the land of Raphistan is found. If a female takes the crown, the title of Shah is either changed to Shahbanu (the feminized form of the title) or Queen.
While existing as a relatively small independent state, only an acre in size, Raphistan still possesses a militia style defense force. The earliest traces of what would become the Raphistan Security Force predate the realm by about two years. Dating back to Phokland, individuals involved with the nation in Arizona, some of whom possessed military/law enforcement training/experience, banded together to create a "militia" to protect Phokland's sovereignty. Originally lighthearted in nature, the militia would consist of individuals (most of whom were firearm owners) going to shooting ranges to practice marksmanship and going on hikes/hunting expeditions in the desert. Overall, the militia operated like, and eventually became, a social club for firearm enthusiasts among Phoklandlian citizens and their friends. Following the dissolution of Phokland and the parting of ways amongst many members, the militia ceased to functionally exist by the beginning of 2020.
Following the restoration of Charles' micronational career and the foundation of Raphistan as a spiritual successor to Phokland, some members of the former militia became reinterested in the project, primarily due to seeing the existence of physical land owned by the state in a remote location as a new opportunity to shoot guns and camp out in an outdoor environment. Also a factor in their interest was that former member Tony "the Great" had joined with Raphistan during its formation and became the first "Viceroy" of the nation.
Therefor, seeing a new way to foster a community environment, and being a gun-owner himself, on September 17th 2021, Shah Alexander announced the formation of the Raphistan Security Force (shortened simply to RSF) as a reservist militia to be trained as a way to ceremonially "protect" the lands of the realm. Furthermore, as an offshoot of the RSF, on September 30th, the Shah also sanctioned the creation of a "Secret Police" to act as Raphistan’s primary active-duty law enforcement and intelligence agency to provide security to government officials and to enforce the rules of the property during community events. Membership in the Secret Police would be made up of volunteers pulled from among the ranks of the RSF.
On October 1st, Shah Alexander declared the abolition of the office of Viceroy due to the seeming redundancy of the post. Still wanting to keep a "head of government", the Shah merged the former powers of the Viceroy with the powers of the head of defense into a new office he dubbed the office of the "Marshal". Wanting to keep his good friend and de facto founding father Tony the Great in power, Tony was subsequently appointed to become Raphistan's first Marshal.
The office of Marshal within the Desert Realm of Raphistan is a post which serves many functions. Officially acting as head of the armed forces and commander of government affairs, the Marshal acts most often as almost a sort of Prime Minister for Raphistan and often carries out several of the functions most often associated with such a post.
Regardless, the Marshal is first and foremost, Supreme Commander of the Raphistan Security Force and second only to the Shah in prestige and internal power. Acting as primary advisor and aid to the monarch, the Marshal serves an important role in keeping in check the powers of the monarchy, and though required to act under the orders of the Shah and dismissible by him, for most of the time the Marshal is able to act under his own accord. In regards to internal politics, the Marshal has the ability to draft and propose bills of legislation directly to the Shah.
Another key role served by the Marshal is that of emergency regent. If a monarchical successor cannot be found and a legitimate owner of the Raphistani land cannot be obtained, and if no other regent was designated by the previous Shah or Queen, then the Marshal may assume emergency control over the government as regent, at which point they would become the "Supreme Leader of Raphistan" until either the situation was resolved or a new form of nationhood was established. The first and current officeholder is Raphistani co-founding father Tony the Great.
The Secret Police of Raphistan were created on September 30th 2021 per royal decree of the Shah. The police act as Raphistan’s primary active-duty law enforcement and intelligence agency and is officially tasked with providing security to government officials (especially the Shah and Marshal) and to enforce the laws and decrees of the Shah over the property territory of Raphistan during community events or other times when their presence may be required. Membership in the Secret Police is made up of volunteers pulled from the ranks of the Raphistan Security Force. Besides security, the Police act as the nation's primary information gathering service with agents dispatched to gather inelegance that would concern the national wellbeing of Raphistan.
Raphistan is nationally divided into three separate areas of administration; one territory of land, one consulate and one leased concession. Furthermore, the territory of land is further divided into two sub-districts and there is one planned royal estate which does not yet exist. Finally, Raphistan lays claim to a small area of land on the southeastern tip of Antarctica. This Antarctic "claim" is considered an "Overseas Canton" and is not considered a formal part of Raphistan itself for the sake of sovereignty and territorial claim. It is instead more ceremonial in nature (though still very much considered a possession of Raphistan). The area has been given the name of Raphistani Antarctica and is "headquartered" at Point Bokka (approximately at coronates -72.248912, 169.969508). Internally, Raphistani Antarctica possesses the status of an Emirate with the Shah also serving as Emir
The two sub-divisions that make up the territorial land consist of the capital, Al-Miadad, which exists as its own district of jurisdiction, and the remainder of the territory, which is known as "The Frontier".
Raphistan's leased concession consists of a noncontiguous territorial concession made up of two rooms and a garden all located on a residential property in Arizona. The concession was ceded to Raphistani administration due to it being the temporary residence of the nation's Shah. 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 early 2022.
The area of Garretsburg was ceded in October of 2021 and consists of a citizen's personal dwelling. The area was granted for inclusion after Raphistan's independence from Graustark-Dawsbergen. The primary reason for Garretsburg's creation was to serve as a mid-point for locally based Raphistani 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 Raphistan, it acts in a practical sense like a de facto consulate for the desert realm. Like the rest of Raphistan, Garretsburg is also located in Arizona an its administrative seat/capital is known as Frankville.
|Raphistani Frontier||15 September 2021||Al-Miadad|
|Royal Compound||25 August 2019 (Graustark)||N/A|
|Garretsburg||8 October 2021||Frankville|
|Raphistani Antarctica||10 April 2019 (Phokland)
17 April 2021 (current claim)
The realm 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 realm's borders. The handling of economics and finance within the nation is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Crown Treasury (or just Crown Treasury for short).
Outside of micronationalism, Raphistan participates in the issuance of MicroLoans, which are small scale financial loans issued by the royal Crown 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".
Raphistan has been a member of the team since September of 2021.
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 Raphistani Shekel will be used by visitors inside the territory at places like markets or a gift shop, however, the most common planned use for the currency will be that of novelty money, likely sold as a souvenir from the nation's webstore.
As a nation state Raphistan has adopted a foreign policy comparable to other micronational contemporaries, namely in terms of treaties and diplomacy. However, Raphistan 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 Shah, while no official embassies or consulates from Raphistan have been established, individual diplomatic envoys are able to routinely be dispatched to speak on the behalf of the monarch and subsequently for the realm.
Mutual diplomacy is maintained with several countries around the world.
Even without a formal treaty to establish relations, Raphistan still holds meaningful unofficial cultural and trade relationships with other states.
Raphistan recognizes certain individual governments' in exile, though they do not typically recognize Raphistan in return.
- National Council of Iran - Recognized as the legitimate government-in-exile for the nation of Iran
- Republic of China - Recognized as the legitimate government of China.
- Islamic Republic of Afghanistan - Recognized as the legitimate government-in-exile for the nation of Afghanistan
Raphistan's geography is relatively consistent with it's 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.
Among the citizenry of Raphistan, 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 intrest in the desert nature is a trait often expressed by the Raphistani people, notably within the government and ruling dynasty.
While in Raphistan, citizens often participate in activities such as target practice, campfires, storytelling, stargazing and hiking. Camping is also very common in Raphistan with the government activly encouraging members to spend time in Raphistan and connect with the land and its surroundings.
Online, citizens also share a common culture within Raphistan's digital services, such as the nation's Discord server. A meutual 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 accross.
Like most nations of the world, Raphistan 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 and national song. Other symbols of the state include plant life such as the Desert Goldenrod and indigenous wildlife like the Pronghorn Antelope and the Arizona Bobcat.
- Raphistan is slightly larger than the homeland of the Republic of Molossia in physical size; at 1.16 acres compared to Molossia's 1.3 acres.
- Raphistan is one of only two active micronations who's monarch goes by the title of Shah.
- Raphistan was heavily inspired by the Kingdom of Calsahara, formed by Travis McHenry back in 2009, located in the California desert.
- In addition to Calsahara, Raphistan was greatly inspired by the middle-eastern nations of Imperial Iran, Afghanistan and by the historical Ottoman Empire.
- The property that currently makes up Raphistan 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 Raphistan is Mead which is brewed locally in Arizona by the nation's Marshal who also works at a brewery.
- Besides the national anthem, the national song of Raphistan is "Happy Together" by The Turtles.
- About Kiva Lending Team: Intermicronational Team Kiva Kiva (www.kiva.org). Date 10 August 2009; access date 27 September 2021
- Members: Intermicronational Team Kiva Kiva (www.kiva.org). Date 10 August 2009; access date 27 September 2021