Countries are interesting entities, and plenty of people want to make new ones altogether. The image above is my idea of a flag for a hypothetical new nation. It is heavily inspired by the Cascadia flag, which I was, in turn, reminded of by the flag of Khabarovsk Krai (Хаба́ровский край) because the colours are more appealing than those used in my previous flag ideas.
(I’m a vexillophile, if you didn’t already know, and even made-up flags can be pretty damn interesting).
This was a previous national flag idea, with horizontal stripes inspired by Israel, and silhouettes of a pointy-ear dog and a domestic cat. Highlighting, of course, love of bobbles and beans.
While that’s a nice idea, it’s not very practical as a flag and doesn’t translate well to emblems and whatnot. It could still be the flag of a district or governmental department, but perhaps not the whole country.
So, my flag at the top has teal, purple, a white band in the middle, and the silhouette of a sunflower. Sunflowers are my favourite flowers, and while my hypothetical country has no physical territory (yet?), and so we don’t know if sunflowers would actually grow there, we could probably plant them and make them a national symbol, anyway.
I thought about other national symbols for a while. Such as the Breton ermine there are 11 of on the Gwenn ha du, or a Magen David, or even a Halloween pumpkin, but these revolved around me personally, too much. Not everyone who lived in my hypothetical nation would be a Breton Celt, etc.
So why am I thinking about hypothetical countries? It’s always something I’ve been a bit interested in, but mainly, things are very frightening politically at the moment. In the back of my mind, I’ve considered Israel a place to run to if everything else falls apart, but recently, quite literally the entire country was set on fire by arsonist terrorists, and it made me realise that Israel could be gone overnight. I need another place that would protect me, even if it’s only imaginary right now.
I’ve done “If I ran a country”-esque quizzes before, although my ideas have changed significantly since then.
So let’s have a look at Letti’s current country idea:
This is something I’m still not sure of. “Country name generators” didn’t give me anything satisfactory. Denelezh, the Breton word for all humankind, might be an option. Karnag Nevez, New Carnac, named after the area my Breton family originate from, is also an idea I’ve had. A friend of a friend once had the name Ilayda, and although it’s a Turkish name for a person, at the time it did strike me as a nice name for a land (which is a super weird thought to have). Depending on the physical location of this currently-hypothetical nation, the name could develop from that, e.g. Atla if it was a manmade island in the Atlantic ocean.
Again, this is something I’ve not thought too much about, because it seems redundant to do so when my nation is imaginary, but I’d be happy to name it after Freya.
I love languages and alphabets so much, so I would definitely want more than one official language and multi-alphabet street signs. English is a given, because myself and the people in my life are always using it, but also Breton, Hebrew to contribute to its continued use, Russian because I love it, and maybe French for ease of communication with other territories. It depends on the origins of the people who would come to populate the country. E.g. I love the Japanese language too, but if we don’t have an active Japanophone population, there’s no point in trying to squeeze Japanese’s 3 alphabets into our signs.
Existing multi-language signs in Singapore.
Again, I’ve not decided on this, but having a place named LettiTown would be nice!
Some people do go as far as to compose music for their imaginary countries/ micronationalism hobby, but I haven’t done this. Something highlighting the nation’s values of protecting the inhabitants from fascism, of valuing the fauna and flora.
Sunflower silhouette. Would be on currency, seal, passport, etc.
Sûreté et sécurité
Location and climate:
I love Europe and would have the country within it if possible. EU membership would be sought, as well as Eurovision participation! Climate does vary across Europe though so it would depend on where we were sited as to how England-like the weather was. We could be on a random bit of unclaimed land on the continent, or on a manmade island far enough out to sea to avoid automatically belonging to the nearest coastal state. Flevoland is an inspiration for how well an artificial island could do.
? The main focus of the nation would be to exist as a permanent haven from dangerous politics. Hate speech is just not going to be a thing. Freedom of speech is a nice ideal, but there are limits to it, and we’ve learned that in Europe a few times already, and are in the middle of learning it again. Letting people spread hate and slurs, regardless of how false they know them to be, only results in stupid people believing them as fact in large numbers, which ends in genocides and utter disaster. It’s not happening in my nation.
? As many protections as possible would be enshrined. Same-sex marriage on the same legal level as opposite-sex marriage from day one, protections and self-determination for biologically Intersex people are just two of the things that spring to mind.
? Basic Income, Basic Income, Basic Income!
? Everything would be disabled-friendly. That would be another benefit of making an island from scratch, lack of hills! As well as the smoothest dropped-kerbs you ever did see, I wouldn’t have kerb height that much taller than the road itself anyway, though not as low as they are with shared surfaces as this has caused problems, particularly for blind people. Everything would be required to have ramped or level-access, wide doors, platform lifts or elevators to upper floors (stairlifts would be fine in a residential home, and only if needed, just making the ground floor doors wheelchair accessible would solve a lot of housing problems). Assistance Dog access, as well as rigorous training for Assistance Dogs, would be a legal requirement.
Not only that, but every company/ body would be required to have an email contact method so that disabled people don’t have to struggle on the phone.
? Before owning a dog (and possibly other pets), people would have to take a course on properly caring for and managing them, and then each dog would be required to go through something like the CGC by law. Which would hopefully result in as few as possible horrible dogs in the street. Many places would be pet-friendly, but priority would still be given to Assistance Dogs.
? Utilities and services would be nationalised more often than not. There would be extensive public transport networks so that much of the population could get by without having to own a car. Trams would be a thing! Private car ownership would also be acceptable, and since we’d be starting a nation from scratch, all the infrastructure may as well be there for all the cars to be electric. I would also like horseback to be seen as an acceptable mode of transportation.
? For initial defence, we’d probably have to hire a private army. In the long run, national service in a similar model to Israel’s may be the answer (with exceptions or alternative forms of service as necessary). I’d also have work experience in a retail location be mandatory in people’s early teens, to reduce the likelihood of people growing up to be horrible. In a similar vein, no-nonsense sex education. And university would be more aimed at 30 year-olds who’ve been in work for a while and now have a better idea of what they want to do.
? Perhaps most importantly, Halloween and Eurovision would be national holidays!
I’ve got lots of ideas, really, but that’s all they are. Maybe if things get truly bad around here, a bunch of us might actually have to pool together and make an artificial island with a capital named after my dog.