The Office of the Sôgmô is the Sandum monarchy, one of the three branches of the Sandum republic. This branch takes care of all primary administrative functions of the Central People’s Government and is citizens’ primary daily interface with our micronation.
As the founder of Sandus, the Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola represents Sandus globally and is the guardian of our constitution and docent of our national philosophy.
the Office of the Sôgmô
All power is to the Sôgmô.— Article 3 of the Founding Law
The Office of the Sôgmô is the highest office of government in Sandus. The Sôgmô governs all of Sandus and oversees the whole Central People’s Government, comprised of all ministries, coöperatives, and other state organs or provincial governments. The current Sôgmô is Gaius Soergel Publicola, the founder of Sandus who created our predecessor micronation, Sandefreistikhan, on 26 May 2009. “Sôgmô” is a Western Abenaki word from the Algonquian language family of Northeast American Indigenous Peoples and means king. Coming from the adjective “sôgela,” meaning hard or strong, the Sôgmô is the strongest component of the entire state as the legitimate and elected leader of the People. The Sôgmô is the most active citizen in Sandus, being the main participant in all of Sandus’s policies, plans, and projects and is the leading worker of many cooperatives. They have a role to play, in many ways, at the centre and as the vanguard of the Sandum constitution.
Though the Sôgmô is the main benefactor of Sandus, having created much of Sandus as it is today. The Sôgmô has worked and continues to work for the creation of an independent and interdependent community of citizens in Sandus, motivated by the vision set forth in the Sandum Philosophy. Under the Sôgmô’s transformational leadership since 2011 with the Foundation of the State of Sandus, Sandus has pioneered an independent micronational culture, constituted its philosophy in national discourse, and has created a democratic and socialist country. The Office of the Sôgmô is an elected monarchy whose legitimacy to govern is checked annually by a national referendum held on the Winter Solstice and by the constitutional right of citizens to petition for redress. In addition to national elections, the Sôgmô’s powers are checked by the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, that has been enfranchised since December 2011 as both an organisation for the advancement of Socialism in Sandus and to represent the interests of Sandum workers, and by the Council, our direct democratic assembly since January 2015. The Sôgmô’s role in our constitution is constantly in flux because the Sôgmô is always responding to the current national moment while keeping our constitution, our laws, and our traditions in mind.
Over the years, though originally seen as an elective constitutional monarchy, Sandus has transformed into a classical republic with three branches of government. This “dual definition,” as it is often called, casts Sandus as both an elective monarchy as well as a classical republic. Rather than having one or the other definition being operative at the time, the term refers both to recognition of the political equality of all three branches—the Sôgmô, the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, and the Council—as well as the constitutional status of the Sôgmô as first among equals (primus inter pares).
Succession of the Sôgmô
The office remains elective today particularly because the Sôgmô’s heir is an elected position. Every five years by law, unless the incumbent heir is prorogued, a national process takes place to find a new heir. First is the constitution of the caucus of interreges, a position that will select the candidates to be heir. The three Grand Officers of State as interreges appoint two additional interreges, the Sôgmô one and the Party Secretary and Speaker of the Council another. Next, the interreges meet to create a long list of potential candidates, interview them, and select a short list of candidates. Next, this short list goes to the Citizens’ Party of Sandus that selects two candidates to be placed on the ballot of the annual Winter Solstice election. Finally, the next heir will be elected at the Winter Solstice election held every year.
The new heir will be invested on a date of their choosing soon after their election in a ceremony where they will receive a lesson on the “Sôgmônis Doctrina,” or “Sagamorial Doctrine.”
When there is a newly elected heir and a former heir, the term “heir elected” refers to the heir apparent who is next in the line of succession. They are also called the “Homard,” in emulation of the French title of dauphin. Heirs that are no longer next in line for succession are formally called “heirs sine officio” (“heirs without office”), though they may simply be called “heir.” All heirs are automatically eligible for a knighthood, the third highest rank of Sandus’s table of noble ranks, though the heir elected is always the Baron of the Maumee.
Though there may be other former heirs, called heirs sine officio, there is no formally defined line of succession in Sandus. When there is no Homard, the Sôgmô may appoint an heir apparent of their choosing with the consent of the Party Secretary and Speaker, though this selection must be ratified at the next following Winter Solstice election.
Finally, the interreges also have a role to play when the Sôgmô is incapacitated. If there is an heir apparent, the Homard takes control of the office until the Sôgmô is no longer incapacitated. If there is no heir, the caucus of the quinque interreges exercises power collectively.
Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola
In Sandus, the Sôgmô is an active member of the Collegium Sacerdotum, the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, and an active worker in the economic coöperatives of Tellus Horticultural, Erganê Artisanal, the State Media Coöperative, and SCF-FCS. The Sôgmô is ex officio the Flamen Minervalis of the Collegium Sacerdotum, the leader of Sandus’s cultural, religious, and philosophical coöperative. The Sôgmô is also the Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, the highest honour and award of the State of Sandus, as well as two other chivalric orders; as fons honorum, they also aware Sandum citizens noble ranks.
Over the years, they have defined the Sandum Philosophy and its three parts of Buddhism, Socialism, and Sancta. In addition to the national philosophy, the Sôgmô has also defined Sandus’s political theories of Libera, Realism, Philia, and Autarky. In addition to Sandus’s purpose, vision, and mission, the Sôgmô has also drafted and enacted a variety of goals, plans, and policies that have had long-reaching effects in Sandus, including the 2015 Economic Goal, the «All-Citizens United» Plan, the Anticosti Ideal, the leitourgia and liaison programs, the Building Democracy Plan, and other economic year plans. As both fons honorum and head of the Collegium Sacerdotum, the Sôgmô has pioneered Sandus’s specific Sancta culture, a culture that takes inspiration from the wider world but that also seeks to make a culture specific to Sandus—one that is not derivative or emulative. They also oversee Sandus’s language policy and the application and incorporation of all three of Sandus’s official languages (English, French, and Latin) into state business.
As the leader of the State of Sandus, they have also incorporated the Party into the Central People’s Goverment, created and enacted the plan for the promulgation of a direct democratic assembly (the Council), and founded all of Sandus’s coöperatives. As the head of government, the Sôgmô also oversees two ministries and a bureau, heads the Sandum cabinet, and provides ongoing assistance to all Sandum organs as well as personal aid and friendship to all Sandum citizens.
In addition to being the Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus (SOTS), Sovereign of the Honourable Order of Athena Pronoea as a Member of the order (MΑθΠ), and seigneur of the Ordre annonaire fraternel du Bol en bois, það has received numerous awards and medals and is a member of multiple honorific or chivalric orders. Það has been awarded the following honours by other micronations:
- Grand Cordon with Collar in the Hrafnarfjallian Order of Polaris
- Grand Cross in the Vishwamitran Order of the Lotus
- Knight Commander in the Westarctican Order of the Snowflake
- Knight in the Renasian Order of Bohr (KOB)
- Knight in the Überstadti Order of the Fir (KOF)
- Knight in the Überstadti Most Noble Order of the Hawk (KOH)
- Knight in the Aigues-Mortais Grand Princely Order of the Pink Flamingo
- Knight in the Angyalistani Order of the Golden Sextant
- Knight in the Castinian Order of Louis-Philippe the First
- Stranger Knight in the New Virginian Noble and Illustrious Order of Saint Marinus
- Knight in the Misberian Order of the Star of the Sea
- Knight in the Kossian Royal Order of the Jaguar
- Cavaliere in the St.Charlian Order of the Blue Star (OBS)
- Member in the Castinian Order of the Double Samara
- Member in the New Richmonder Order of Camaraderie
- Member in the Order of Saint Jerome
- Member in the Nordalian Order of the Angel
- Companion of the Order of Uskor
- Companion of the Yablokan Order of the Falcon
- Desert Palm Medal from the Republic of Molossia
- Medal for Friendship from the Kingdom of Überstadt
- Medal for a Better, Weirder World from the Aerican Empire
- Medal of Freedom from the Kingdom of Jupiter and the Greater Territories
- Medal of Friendship from the Grand Duchy of Danduros
- Presidential Citation Ribbon from the Federal Republic of St.Charlie (PCR)
- Distinguished Micronational Service Award from the House of Homestead
- Certificate of Honor from the Kingdom of Pibocip
In addition to being the Sôgmô of Sandus, the Sôgmô is also an ancient historian whose research focuses on Roman sanctuary at the intersection of religion, politics, and culture. They are interested in topics of constitutionalism, interstate and intrastate politics, religion, culture, society, and gender and sexuality. They teach a variety of subjects including ancient and modern history, Latin, French, and writing. They have also facilitated, managed, and overseen: a bisexual discussion and support group; academic programs in Classical Studies and Ancient History; discussion groups on Roman republican history, on classical reception and integrating contemporary intersectionality with the study of the ancient world, and on European history generally; academic, micronational, and political symposia and conferences; and, such projects in English and French. They know (to a basic proficiency) a dozen languages including ancient, literary languages and present day languages.
They hope to constantly increase their repertoire and knowledge in these and more fields, seeing education as more than just goal-oriented.
Outside of the university, they are an active member of their Buddhist sangha and local community, a spouse to their husband the Sanôba Oliver Armstrong, and a father to their cat Sebastian and crayfish Homard. They juggle responsibilities as both a micronational leader and a macronational citizen with their duties as a scholar, teacher, layperson, and as a bisexual and nonbinary activist.
The Sôgmô and the Sanôba Oliver Armstrong met online in 2011 through micronationalism. Years later, the two reconnected, met one another in person in 2018, and started dating soon after despite living 900+ km apart. Micronationalism kindled and rekindled their feelings for one another, leading to the Sanôba to become a Sandum citizen in 2018. He became a Sandum royal soon after. Having proposed to the Sôgmô in July 2019 after MicroCon 2019, the Sanôba and the Sôgmô will marry on 25 September 2021 in Ann Arbour, Quercus Candida.
Over the years, the Sanôba has developed his own prerogative as a Sandum royal. He has fostered his own causes to develop and to advance Sandum culture and identity, and he is an active participant at significant annual holidays in Sandus. The Sanôba cares very much for causes that support and protect the oceans’ lobsters—Sandus’s national animal—and other similar sea or fresh water creatures. He has an avid interest in and attention to flowers and bugs that represents the best of the country’s compassion for all forms of life.
Outside of Sandus, he is an artist and writer motivated by contemporary social problems and is active in a wide-range of online communities that centre contemporary LGBTQ+ life.
Homard Gaius Flavius Ithacus
The Well-Honoured Homard Dr. Gaius Flavius Ithacus, Baron of the Maumee, is the elected heir to the Sôgmô. He serves the important constitutional role of being second in line to the throne but also is the Sôgmô’s representative in important state and ceremonial matters. As the heir, he is prepared at any moment to assume the mantle and responsibilities of the Sôgmô. The Well-Honoured Homard has been instructed in the sagamorial discipline and knows both Sandus’s constitutional lay of the land and the country from a political and philosophical background.
The Homard oversees his own agenda and takes on his own prerogatives as the next in the line of succession. In his role as successor to the current Sôgmô’s position as the fount of culture, he edits and oversees a community cookbook in Sandus, lovingly called Our Heart & Hearth: or, the Art & Style of Sandum Cookery & Domestic Labour, &c. The cookbook is slated for its first serial publication in October 2021.
Dr. Gaius Flavius Ithacus is, like the Sôgmô, an ancient historian whose dissertation is on authority and power in the Roman Republic—a topic relevant to the exercise of power in our classical republic. In addition to his professional work, he is also an avid tea and mixology afficionado, loves Star Wars and pop culture, and admires both his wife the Homaressa and their cat Tigger, who appears on his coat of arms.
the Royal Family
The Sandum royal family is comprised of the larger family related to the Sôgmô by blood or “by mind” according to Sandum custom. When it comes to family “by mind,” this reflects Sandum ideas about family and kinship where the family is mind-made. In other words, the reigning Sôgmô may elevate certain people and their families to the status of royalty in Sandus, if they are considered to be family or akin to family. When it comes to those related by blood, royal status in Sandus includes both immediate and extended members of the reigning Sôgmô’s family, including both formal and legal adoption as well as common law family. The immediate royal family includes the House of Soergel, the paternal family of the reigning Sôgmô, and the House of Willis, the maternal royal family. Since the reigning Sôgmô is married, royal status is also given to the Sanôba’s family, namely the Houses of Armstrong and Andrews.
Though not royals, the family of the elected heir are of a comparable status.
Members of the royal family enjoy a special status of citizenship in the State of Sandus, called royal citizenship. There are no privileges or obligations that come with this citizenship.