One man from New York has created his own sovereign country in a remote area of Utah. The country is called Zaqistan, and it was founded by Zaqistanian “President” Zaq Landsberg.
The nation is complete with its own red and yellow flag, official-looking passports with a stamp and a border gate that is guarded by a giant robot.
Landsberg said, “The conceptual goal is I want it to become a real country. I mean, that goal is not going to happen. It's impossible, but going through the motions, (I'm) trying to make that happen."
The Zaqistanian motto is, “Something from nothing”.
Landsberg purchased the area of the Utah backcountry more than a decade ago. The area is about 60 miles from the nearest town, and there isn’t a paved road for 15 miles. It a harsh and desolate area covered in sage-brush.
“Out here, it's not that crazy of an idea to have your own little spot, and to do your own thing and to have your own space and the privacy to do that,” said Landsberg.
While Landsberg accepts that Zaqistan will never be officially recognized as a country, he does enjoy the artistic exploration that comes with pushing the concepts of land ownership and sovereignty as far as he can.
Zaqistan is only four acres large. It has a supply bunker so that its “people” can be as self-sufficient as possible. Landsberg would not reveal the exact location of the country, because he fears that people would become lost trying to find it.
Landsberg pays property taxes to Box Elder County, which is located roughly 160 miles north of the capital of Salt Lake City. However, Landsberg prefers to call his tax payments “tributes”.
Some people have visited the country, most notably Landsberg’s friend, Mike Abu. According to Abu, no single party can determine if Landsburg’s country is legitimate or not. Either way, the “country” still exists.
"Legitimacy is one of those things that's fairly subjective to begin with. But when we're talking about it, does it exist? There's no question about it."
So even if it seems a little whacky, it doesn’t seem like anyone is going to rain on Zaqistan’s parade.