New York Man’s Not-So-Sovereign Nation in Utah Now Has Passports and a Border-Patrol Gate Guarded by a Robot

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Zaqistan's Border Patrol gate.

New Yorker Zaq Landsberg is still working to make Zaqistan a thing, a decade after he tried turning his four-acre parcel of land in Utah into a recognized country, according to the AP. The not-real-at-all country now has a flag; very official-looking passports; a marker noting the highest point of the republic, Mt. Insurmountable; a robot guard; a supply bunker; a border-patrol gate; and a motto. (“Something from nothing.”) Zaquistan does pay taxes to the county it is located in — although President Landsberg likes to consider the payments “tributes.” 

He is also aware that Zaqistan will probably never be recognized by the U.N. “The conceptual goal is I want it to become a real country,” Landsberg told KSL-TV. “I mean, that goal is not going to happen. It’s impossible, but going through the motions, [I’m] trying to make that happen.” But his friend Mike Abu — who has had his Zaqistan passport stamped a few times — asks, what does being a real country even mean anyway? “Legitimacy is one of those things that’s fairly subjective to begin with,” Abu said, wearing a fedora and sunglasses. “But when we’re talking about it, does it exist?”