Welcome to the Republic of Zaqistan!
In a remote 4-acre plot of land in Box Elder County, Utah, a red flag with a yellow “Z” logo marks the existence of Zaq Landsberg’s aptly named Zaqistan – a sovereign nation created by the New Yorker complete with an official motto, designated Independence Day and national animal (a giant squid).
Landsberg, president of Zaqistan, paid $610 on eBay for the land in July 2005 and officially declared independence on November 19, 2005 at 10:57 p.m. ZST (Zaqistan Standard Time), according to the republic’s official site.
Its motto “Quispiam Ex Nusquam (Something from Nothing),” reflects Landsberg’s pride in his far-removed de-facto sovereign, located in the middle of a Utah desert.
The stretch of northwestern desert, described by Landsberg as harsh and desolate, has a border patrol gate, supply bunker and an official passport stamper for when you enter or exit his land.
“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,” Landsberg told KSL.com.
“The conceptual goal is I want 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,” he added.
The land – 50 miles away from the closest gas station, 15 miles from a paved road and a two-mile hike from the nearest dirt road – is difficult to locate and Landsberg hesitates to reveal the sovereign nation’s exact location for fear people will get lost trying to find it.
“When I first came out here it was just numbers on a GPS If you have something that looks official, most of the times people will treat it official,” Landsberg told KSL.com