Making a Micronation

Micronationalism in a Nutshell

The Empire of Lehmark has put together a step-by-step guide for those who are interested in making their own micronation; many of these how to guides exist and this is our take using our experience and what we've learnt during the process of building Lehmark.

Micronations aren't made in an afternoon, they take time, energy and effort to build and this guide will help you to set up the basics and give you a good footing to keep going. Micronations are an amazing example of self-expression and what can happen when passion and interest drives a person.

Step 1: Have a reason to declare a micronation

Micronations don't necessarily need a reason to be declared, but it gives the leader a path or direction to continue developing, and provides background to the nation. Lehmark was founded because of the Emperor and Autocrat's dissatisfaction with the Australian Government and a desire to do better and be different. Your reason might simply be your desire to lead your own nation and that's perfectly acceptable! Also establish a primary goal for your nation - such as recognised independence, charitable purpose, specific social issue or the like.

Step 2: Find some land to claim

Land claims need to be specific and controllable. The wider micronational community will be less willing to deal with micronations who claim large swathes of territory which they either cannot fully control or have a large population.

It's an unwritten rule of micronationalism, not to claim entire cities, suburbs or the like - people need to be willing to join your nation, simply declaring they live in a new country is not sufficient.

Start with something simple, like your house, a public park or uninhabited lands. Do not claim Bir Tawil - many many many micronations claim this land to the point it becomes a joke; Marie Byrd Land is also similar in this respect.

While you can be a purely digital nation, we wouldn't recommend it.

Step 3: Give your nation a name and yourself a title

A nation without a name simply wouldn't make sense, give your nation a creative name that reflects you, the nation you want to create or simply the area it inhabits. Try to avoid creating a name like 'New England' or 'New Germany' while not unacceptable, it's a bit redundant and not very creative. Micronations should be unique!

Lehmark was derived from the last name of the Emperor and Autocrat and the country of Denmark. So Lehman and Denmark were combined to create Lehmark.

Every Head of State needs a title and it should reflect your nation and its values. If you're a Republic then President might suit, if an Empire then possibly Emperor or Imperator - the list goes on, whatever you choose make sure it's something you want to stick with and be sure to include that reference in the name of your nation - such as the Republic of Smithland or the Empire of Smithland.

Step 4: Create your Flag and Symbols

This step can be ongoing for the life a micronation, however, it's important to create and establish a Flag - design something yourself, that reflects the nation you want - use symbols, animals or the like which reflect your nation. While some micronations change their flags regularly, we would recommend creating something a bit more permanent.

Use this opportunity to create your Coat of Arms or any other basic starting symbols you want to be associated with your country - first impressions count for a lot, if you're not an artist ask a friend to help you.

Step 5: Create a Constitution or Basic Law

We would highly recommend creating a Constitution or Basic Law which establishes some key aspects of your nation - this could include Government Structure, Head of State/Parliament powers, and of course a - bill of rights.

A Constitution isn't set in stone, make sure there are avenues or ways for you to change it, update as required but ensure it cannot be revoked. Lehmark's Constitution has changed at least a dozen times since 2019, each time we have cleaned up our wording, changed structures and added new sections which clarify areas or grant additional powers.

Step 6: Create a Currency (Optional)

Many micronations have their own currency, Lehmark has two - a physical currency called Imperial Florin which is backed by silver bullion and utilises notes and coins, and Lehmark Digital Token which is a cryptocurrency on the Stellar Network; while it's not a requirement, we would highly recommend it as it adds flavour and uniqueness to your nation.

Should you not wish to create a currency, you can use your local macronational currency such as USD, AUD etc.

Your currency can be any type, such as crypto, fiat or metal standard. Should you choose a crypto - make sure you understand your network and how it will be set up - you may need help with this; if you choose a metal backed currency, we would suggest silver or gold - if those are out of your price range then copper bullion might be best. Finally, a fiat currency's value is derived from consumer demand and confidence, there's not much you can do to influence the value of it - this is the easiest option.

If you are making notes or coins, make them unique, they don't have to be expensive but they should reflect your nation.

Step 7: Review what you've done so far

Micronations are always changing, growing and developing and during these early days of creating your micronation, you should use this step to review what has been done so far and make any changes you deem necessary before continuing.

Step 8: Making a Website, Discord, MicroWiki and Social Media

By this stage your micronation has a solid foundation and it's time to create an online presence. This step is also ongoing for the life of your micronation but without this step people will not be able to find you and will not be able to join your nation.

A website is one of the most important aspects of any micronation and is the first step in establishing an online presence. Through your website you can paint the history of your nation, show who is in your government, provide citizenship applications, government services - the list goes on! We recommend Google Sites - while it has limitations, it's free; a domain is all you would be required to purchase and even this is optional.

Many micronations have a presence on Discord, which is a free online chat and talking services. Discord plays a huge part in Lehmark as it allows our Government to connect daily as well as connecting our Citizens. Through Discord we host events and conduct a lot of our government work. Discord will be vital for the long-term development of your nations community.

MicroWiki is essentially the Wikipedia of micronations, many micronations have an Article on the Wiki and we would highly recommend you doing the same.

Finally, Social Media. We use Twitter primarily but recently reopened our Facebook page. Many micronations also use YouTube for hosting TV Shows, Radio and the like; a lot of micronations also use Instagram as well. Whichever Social media you use, make sure you are active and make sure you are connecting with your target audience.

Google Analytics will help you track those coming to your website, how they found your website (such as referrals) and how long they spend on your website. Understanding your demographics will help you convert people from 'viewers' to 'citizens'.

Step 9: Open for business!

By now you have established your website and whatever social media you've chosen - most importantly you have provided an avenue for people to become Citizens of your nation - from here you can begin advertising your nation, receiving Applications and growing your population.

Make sure you keep accurate records of who is in your nation; it's important to understand your demographics and most importantly your providing proof of who has joined your nation - sockpuppeting is frowned upon! i.e making up information and lying about populations. Important information to keep:

  • Names (First and Last)

  • Date of Birth

  • Country of origin/residency

  • Statistical information - languages, ethnicity, religion etc

Step 10: Plan your Development

Advancement and development is a key aspect of any micronation, don't start big, start small. From acorns mighty oaks grow.

Set smaller goals, which go towards achieving that bigger picture. That bigger picture is your ultimate goal and that is what you hope to achieve - such as recognised independence. As your nation achieves its goals, those goals will become more complex.

Try and plan development for 12 month periods; communicate with your government and discuss solutions if something isn't working - don't simply give up because its too hard.

You might be asking - what goals should I set? Think about the context of your Departments - such as the Department of Foreign Affairs, set goals for Ambassador appointments, Treaties of Mutual Recognition and the like; or the Department of Culture, aim to establish a newspaper, create community events etc.

Step 11: On going development

We have now provided you with all the tools necessary to build your own micronation, now it's time for you to lead your nation and continue with your development; keep these things in mind for the future:

  • Gain new Citizens

  • Advertise your nation

  • Set your goals, plan your development

  • Communicate with other nations - establish beneficial ties and connections

  • Aim to create physical connections for your Citizens - such as face-to-face events or digital conferences.