Friday, October 4, 2013

Lamb Island, off Australian Coast, to Vote on Becoming Republic of Nguduroodistan

Australia is home to the wildest profusion of micronations in the world—from one of its oldest, the Principality of Hutt River, in the western outback (reported on recently in this blog), to the Sovereign State of Aeterna Lucina (which traces its legitimacy to Afghanistan’s royal family), to wild experiments like the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands, where you can sail on a ship called the Gayflower to have same-sex weddings Australia still does not permit on the mainland.  One of our first blog posts reported on the Free State of Australia, an anti-money, “technocratic” commune near the QueenslandNew South Wales border.  To this we may soon have to add the Independent Republic of Nguduroodistan.

Based on the Aboriginal name for Lamb Island, plus the suffix -stan, Nguduroodistan is not an Aboriginal movement but a new push by residents of a tiny islet in southern Moreton Bay, on the southeastern outskirts of Brisbane, Queensland, to go it alone.

(This Lamb Island is not to be confused with Lamb Island in Scotland, a volcanic outcropping which was purchased in 2009 by the Israeli psychic Uri Geller because of a fancied resemblance to an Egyptian pyramid.)

The Principality of Hutt River, in Western Australia, is an inspiration.
Tony Gilson, a shopkeeper on the sleepy resort island, says he reckons about 90% of Lamb’s 450 or so residents (427 in the 2011 census) support secession, most of them feeling that the local, state, and federal governments have failed to provide them with essential services at an affordable cost.  He has already drafted a 35-page constitution, which includes a royal family, a prime minister, and 21 cabinet ministers, some of whom have already been informally appointed.  He plans to consult with Hutt River’s Prince Leonard on legal aspects of secession.

An enthusiast displays a Hutt River flag.
Nor is it all talk: a referendum is being scheduled for October 19th.  Presumably it will be non-binding—at least in the eyes of the state and federal governments.

Some postage stamps issued by the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands
At 1.39 square kilometers, Nguduroodistan would be the world’s second-smallest independent state: more than three times the size of Vatican City but still just shy of the Principality of Monaco’s 2.02 square kilometers.  (Hutt River, by contrast, is 75 square kilometers.)  It would quite handily take the title of least-populous country in the world (the Vatican, with 800, is the current champ), though Lamb’s population dwarfs that of the United Kingdom’s self-governing colony of Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific, which has 66 people.

It remains to be seen if the Hutt River royal family will welcome the competition.
No word yet from the Australian or Queensland governments on Nguduroodistan’s prospects.  Nor is there, as yet, a flag.  But we will of course keep readers posted on any developments.

[You can read more about Nguduroodistan and many other separatist and new-nation movements, both famous and obscure, in my new book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas just published by Litwin Books under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar.  The book, which contains 46 maps and 554 flags (or, more accurately, 554 flag images), is available for order now on Amazon.  Meanwhile, please “like” the book (even if you haven’t read it yet) on Facebook and see this interview for more information on the book.]


  1. How it call a Republic when it will have a King and Queen?

  2. An excellent question. In fact, using the term "republic" while also having a king, queen, or prince is so common in the world of "micronations" that I've almost stopped noticing it. It should be surprising, though, to see this error in Australia, where the question of whether to be a republic or a monarchy is very much a live political debate. Perhaps some micronations that wish to have it both ways could follow the model of Ladonia, a micronation within southern Sweden which professes a political system called "remony" (republican monarchy).


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