Sôgmô enacts Sandum Table of Noble Ranks, establishing Sandum Nobility

The Sôgmô has enacted þess proposal to establish a limited nobility in the State of Sandus. The nobility will perform an entirely ceremonial role and grants of nobility will be bestowed based on service to the State. The decree establishes several ranks of nobility from gentleman and knights to baronets and barons. These ranks have a hypothetical scale connected to the constitution of the State of Sandus. Sandum royalty is also entitled to certain claims of nobility based on their relation to the Sôgmô, though these too must be granted by því.

To read the decree, see here.

How is a socialist republican state like Sandus able to establish a system of nobility? The State of Sandus was founded as an absolute monarchy and slowly morphed into an elective monarchy and a republic. The Sôgmô, in speaking with þess advisers and especially with the Party Secretary as representative of the Sandum proletariat, has determined that the nobility is a ceremonial aspect of the monarchical branch of the Sandum republic.

The prevailing principle of the nobility is humility, modesty, and moderation.”

Section 1, Article 3 of the Decree on Sandum Nobility
28 April 2017

Various provisions, moreover, were included in the proposal to avoid the haughtiness of foreign nobilities. In Sandus, the nobility, which comes from the Latin term nobilitas and means “notoriety” or “the notable,” is not an aristocracy. In the Sandum constitution, the aristocratic or meritocratic branch is the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, which is the socialist party and only established political party of the State of Sandus. The decree specifies that Sandum nobles ought to only use their titles in purely ceremonial and state occasions and that “[to] draw attention to one’s status of nobility in situations other than a formal state or ceremonial setting is contrary to the principles of Sandum nobility and is liable to censure by the Sôgmô.”

The table is based off of a principle of Russian nobility which was established by Tsar Peter I in 1722, the Russian Table of Ranks. The Sôgmô’s proposal, however, is uniquely Sandum. Its highest noble rank, beneath the Sôgmô, is that of baron, which is the lowest rank in English peerage. Sandus had previously been a barony twice from December 2009 to April 2010 and September to November 2010. The proposal also includes a series of other significant barriers, such as the fact that titles and ranks are not automatically inherited unless specified in one’s granting letters patent. The privileges associated with the ranks, as well, are nominal: nobles are entitled to certain styles of address, but these are to be used only on rare ceremonial occasions.

Certain grants of nobility, as well, might be given further privileges, such as the granting of heraldic coats of arms. The Sôgmô has determined that higher ranking nobles, such as barons and baronets, may receive arms from the North American Micronational College of Arms. Barons and baronets who are entitled, meaning that they have received fiefs in Sandus, are eligible to have ceremonial elements for their fiefs, such as an anthem. Other extraordinary privileges might be added to a noble’s grant.

The decree also establishes separate categories of grants, including personal and entitled grants of nobility which can either be inheritable or not. Entitled grants (those which come with a specific associated title) can be made hereditary, for example, in exchange for State access to the noble’s personal property and land—so-called “inholder nobles.”

The decree is specifically worded so as to not violate Sandus’s socialist policies, practices, and laws. Inholder nobles, for example, are the Sandum equivalent of proprietary or estate nobles, except that in Sandus private ownership of property and land is illegal; “inholder nobles,” according to Sandum law, bestow upon the State certain rights to their personal property for State business. Nobility, as well, is bestowed in recognition of merit and based upon one’s governmental position in the constitution of the State of Sandus, not based on a position of birth. Sandum Nobility denotes service to the State of Sandus, meaning that there are obligations associated with the nobility’s relatively superficial privileges.

Only barons and baronets, for example, are able to be inherited without a necessary dispensation from the Sôgmô. Inheritable baronets must also be Sandum citizens by their 16th birthday if they are to retain their inherited title.

Members of the Sandum Royal Family receive certain specific ranks depending on their relation to the Sôgmô, but again also in a Sandum-specific manner. Since the Office of the Sôgmô is an elective and not a hereditary office, the Sandum Royal Family is time specific. The proposal lays out a system of nobility specific to the current and previous royal families in Sandus, though members of the Royal Family still must receive a grant of nobility from the Sôgmô and are not automatically entitled to such a grant.

For example, members of the immediate Royal Family can become barons and the Sôgmô’s descendants can become baronets, but extended members of the Royal Family can only become—at best—knights in the Sandum nobility simply on virtue of their being in the Sandum Royal Family. All grants related to the royal family, furthermore, are not automatic but are given as special grants by the Sôgmô. Furthermore, all descendants of the reigning Sôgmô must remain Sandum citizens in order to inherit their title.

After the reigning Sôgmô dies, all Sandum royalty must identify their relationship to the previous Sôgmô after þess death. For example, the current Sôgmô’s sister would be styled “Lady Phanem Soror Elizabeth of the 1st Sôgmô” after þess death.

There is no word yet on who will first receive a title of nobility.