Sôgmô creates four gentry

The Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola created four Sandum citizens as gentry in the State of Sandus, the lowest rank in Sandus’s nobility. The decision comes after the Sandum System of Nobility was adopted by decree in April and after work had been completed on preparing the documents associated with the rank. The Sôgmô granted the lowest rank in Sandum nobility in order to work toward successively promoting various Sandum citizens to higher ranks and toward creating others who do not deserve lower ranks according to the April decree’s constitutional equivalency chart.

All Sandum citizens to have been created gentry today are workers in the Central People’s Government, its cooperatives, and other State organs. They are: Artemis Baca, Jacob Barnet Pharmacologus Σαρκαστικός, Sisenna Melville, and Adam Camillus von Friedeck.

Artemis Baca

Shield of Artemis Baca

Artemis Baca has received an escutcheon vert with stag gules passant and seven hurts posés 5-2, representing her eponymous goddess and surname.

Jacob Barnet Pharmacologus Σαρκαστικός

Shield of Jacob Barnet Pharmacologus Σαρκαστικός

Jacob Barnet Pharmacologus Σαρκαστικός has received an escutcheon gules with codex sable, representing his love of philosophy and literature.

Sisenna Melville

Shield of Sisenna Melville

Sisenna Melville has received an escutcheon purpure with codex tenné charged with cross bottony gules and argent interchanged in dexter and lilypad gules in sinister, representing her status as bishop of the Sandum church.

Adam von Friedeck

Shield of Adam Camillus von Friedeck

Adam Camillus von Friedeck has received an escutcheon with eagle displayed and elevated in dexter and charged letter ‘F’ in sinister, after a city of the same name.

Oui, les statues confédérées sont racistes

La texte française de la « considération sagamoriale » de l’Union de Saint-Castin.

L'Union de Saint-Castin

À moins que vous ne viviez sous un rocher, les Statues confédérées aux États-Unis sont devenues de plus en plus politisées au cours des dernières années à la suite de nouvelles blessures et divisions raciales. Les opposants à ces statues affirment qu’ils sont racistes et ne méritent aucune place dans les places publiques et les vénérations nationales, étatiques et communales. Les défenseurs des statues affirment qu’ils représentent une preuve tangible de la période historique de la Guerre civile et que les éliminer signifie que nous oublierons notre histoire de la guerre. D’autres défenseurs des statues racontent des slogans de la suprématie blanche, arguant que l’élimination des statues est un génocide blanc tangible.

Les historiens publics au cours des dernières années ont examiné le problème et ont présenté une analyse intéressante de l’histoire et des contextes de ces statues. J’utiliserai quelques exemples de statues récentes prises à Baltimore, dans le Maryland…

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[SC] Yes, Confederate Statues are Racist

Unless you have been living under a rock, Confederate Statues in the United States have become increasingly politicised over the past several years in the wake of fresh racial wounds and divisions. Opponents to these statues claim that they are racist and deserve no place in public squares and national, state, and communal veneration. Defenders of the statues argue that they represent tangible evidence of the Civil War historical period and that removing them means we will forget our history about the war. Other defenders of the statues recite white supremacist slogans, arguing that removing the statues is tangible white genocide.

Public historians in the past several years have examined the problem and have come up with some interesting analysis of the history and contexts of these statues. I will use a few examples of recent statues taken down in Baltimore, Maryland, from near where Sandus is located.

In April 1861, after several states had seceded, Southern and Eastern Marylanders—those who owned slaves—advocated for Maryland’s secession from the Union. The governor at the time, Thomas H. Hicks, called a special session of the legislature, but it voted overwhelmingly (53-13) to remain in the Union. Later that year, in September, the Federal government declared martial law, disbanded the state government, and withdrew the right of habeas corpus in Maryland—a still controversial and unconstitutional move.

Key to this issue is the debate over memory and history. While memory and history often go hand-in-hand, memory is not the same as history. We remember events differently from how they happened, and tend to make history one-dimensional when, in fact, history is complex and complicated. This seems to have been the case with how contemporary people see the statues. They appear to us as remembrance of the war itself, when they are in fact artistic symbols. They are “receptions” of the war and people’s later memory of the war, not symbols of the war itself. They are realistic idealisations of what the war meant.

bal-bs-md-statues-soldiers-then-bs0056541845-20170816.jpg

Image by Jerry Jackon of the Baltimore Sun, after protesters doused the statue in red paint.

Take, for example, the Spirit of the Confederacy statue, also known as the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, in Baltimore. The statue depicts the goddess Victory holding up a dying Confederate soldier, the CSA’s battle flag falling toward the ground, and the goddess crowning the soldier with glory. The base of the monument reads Gloria Victis, “Glory to the Vanquished”—I am sure other ancient historians appreciate the irony of the text! They will know that gloria never goes to the vanquished—it is always vae victis, “woe to the vanquished.”

There are many problems with thinking that these statues are the history of the Civil War. First, they are not history of the Civil War. The history of the Civil War involves battles and battlefields, real physical strife, not statues extolling the onlooker’s memory. Second, these statues were not produced during the Civil War or even after.

Many historians have recently pointed out, however, that these statues were constructed and placed in public during the post-Reconstruction period, when segregation and Jim Crow laws were replacing the integration of freedpeople during Reconstruction. They belong to the resurgent, idealised memory of the “Lost Cause of the South” (i.e., white supremacy) and to Plessy v. Ferguson, which made segregation and the legal practice of “separate but equal” the law of the land. They belong, in other words, not to the history of the Civil War, but to the history of a resurgent, pernicious racism in the United States.

Lee-Jackson Monument.

Image by A. Aubrey Bodine, 1948, held by the Maryland Historical Society.

For example, the Lee-Jackson memorial, which was taken down quietly in Baltimore early Wednesday morning, was erected in 1948 by J. Henry Ferguson, whose father was a friend of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. It depicts the two generals, Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson riding horses, an art historical tradition reserved for victorious generals.

The Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the one mentioned above, was erected in 1902, more than 37 years after the war ended. It was erected by the Maryland Daughters of the Confederacy—a group, like other “Daughters of the Confederacy,” which promoted the “Lost Cause” idealism. Maryland, moreover, a border slave state divided between staying in the Union or seceding and joining the Confederacy, contributed some 30,000 troops to the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia; more than 80,000, however, decided to join the Union army.

Statues are not the only public symbols which were used as tools to further the notion of white supremacy in the segregation period. Before the political debate was about statue, it was about the CSA’s battle flag. This symbol, which is not the flag of the Confederate States of America, saw a resurgence during the Civil Rights movement and the onset of desegregation. Between Reconstruction and up to the 1950s, the battle flag was not a public symbol. But, with cases like Brown v. Board of Education, the flag was out in broad daylight being waved for the first time since the Civil War. As Becky Little has put it, the flag’s popularity and tool as a symbol “has more to do with the Civil Rights Movement than the Civil War.” It was a used then, as now, as a racist symbol against integration and for segregation.

Even phrases and alternative names for the Civil War, like “War of Northern Aggression” and “War between the States,” absolve the South from responsibility for waging a war for slavery. “Northern Aggression” has become a euphemism, when it was in fact the Confederacy which fired the first shot of the war. Some argue that the war was about “states’ rights”—but they forget that it was about states’ rights…to own slaves and to be slave states. Slavery and the preservation of slavery was the key objective and cause for the war.

Some argue that removal of these statues from public veneration will mean that people will forget about the history of the Civil War. That is an interestingly fallacious argument, especially since—even though visible signs of Nazi Germany, Tsarist Russia, or the Roman Empire may remain in ruins or may be utterly destroyed—we still know much about subjects of history which have since “disappeared.” Furthermore, many—especially the protests who advocate for the monuments to be removed—have advocated for their conservation, not their destruction. Current plans for the statues recently removed in Baltimore include donating them to museums, historical societies, and even Confederate cemeteries. These monuments are not necessarily being destroyed: they are being removed to more appropriate public settings, and out of the place of public veneration because of their segregation history. They are being put into museums as testament to the Civil War, of which the monuments sought to venerate and alter memory, and as testament to segregation and racism.

Therefore, if you think that destroying post-Civil War monuments which venerate the “Lost Cause of the South” means we will forget our history, then I would recommend you pick up a book and engage in that history, not its faulty memory. History, historical knowledge, and memory do not fade so instantaneously, but racism lingers.

C. Soergel Publicola

This article relied significantly on Cindy Kelly’s Outdoor Sculpture in Baltimore: a historical guide to public art in the Monumental City.

Decisions of the Seventh Session of the Council in 2017

The Seventh Session of the Council in the Administrative Year 2017 lasted from 9 July to 7 August 2017.

The Facilitator Hatsu Ryuho was elected as incumbent by acclamation for another term of three months due to no opposition.

This was the first month of Facilitator Hatsu Ryuho’s three-month term.

Facilitator Hatsu Ryuho

State Media Cooperative forms

The Sôgmô has completed and approved an IN-01 form, the form for establishing new cooperatives, for a new state-run media cooperative, known simply by the founding documents as the “State Media Cooperative.” The cooperative will serve as the official media and content creating organ of the State of Sandus and will include all forms of media in the State of Sandus. For the first time, all of Sandus’s media organisms now fall under one state-run cooperative.

Digital Print Media:
Veritum Sandus — the official journal of the State of Sandus
Sacerdotium — the official journal of the Collegium Sacerdotum
Voice of Sandus — the official journal of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus
Tellus Sibyl — the inactive seasonal newsletter of Tellus Agrarian Cooperative

Audiovisual Media:
Channum Unum — the online television network of the State of Sandus
Radio Patria — the online radio station of the State of Sandus

Effectively, little will change in the structure of Sandum media, however. The media organs will continue to operate and produce media in the manner in which they have traditionally done so and the same editorial structure, for the time being, will remain in place.

Discussions will have to take place in the future to discuss how the new cooperative will manage or share management of the autonomous and overlapping media organs which are the official journals of Sandum cooperatives.

In addition, the cooperative will be tasked with managing future development of Sandum media and with providing a future plan for media development of media organs which are critically importantly but have faced inactivity recently. One key goal will be to restart Sandus’s audiovisual media, of which both Channum Unum and Radio Patria have been plagued by inactivity. With the inactivity of Tellus Agrarian Cooperative, however, there is no telling yet when and how Tellus Sibyl will be restarted.

Sandus, MOCC, and Uskor condemn US transgender ban

Representatives of the Missionary Order of the Celtic Cross, Sandus, and Uskor have penned a statement condemning the United States’ ban on transgender people in the US Armed Forces, following the American President’s controversial tweets on 26 July 2017. The statement was also signed by the Minister-President of Saint-Castin, the Prince of Aigues-Mortes, and the President of Zirconic.

Joint statement on the recent order banning transgender individuals from the
United States Armed Forces

We the undersigned hereby condemn the recent orders via Twitter from the President of the United States of America, Mr Donald Trump that seek to exclude transgender individuals from serving in the United States Armed Forces in any capacity.

We believe this order is reckless, bigoted and that it makes zero sense from a military capability point of view.  

History has proven time and time again that transgender individuals can serve and when given the ability to serve as their authentic selves they are more combat ready, unit cohesion is better and overall morale is improved.

In ordering that transgender persons not be able to serve in the United States Armed Forces Mr Trump is not only excluding people who may be good soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen but he is ordering that the United States Armed Forces lose valuable skills and knowledge that has taken decades to be acquired and will take decades to reacquire and thus have a negative impact on the abilities and combat readiness of the United States Armed Forces.

Transgender people should have every right to serve their nation should they wish, and transgender personnel should be permitted to transition whilst serving.

Those who may complain about the cost of funding and allowing transgender individuals to serve should note that costs of one F35 costs $US 94.6 Million yet the total costs of all transgender related surgeries cost $US 2.4 Million -$US 8.4 Million a year.

We can also point to the examples of various defence forces around the globe where transgender people are permitted to serve openly and see that it does nothing but good for those defence forces, pertinent examples can include those of Captain Hannah Winterbourne, Group Captain Cate McGregor and Guardsman Chloe Allen all of whom have shown that transgender people can serve with distinction and in combat roles.

 

Signed,

Admiral Charlotte Lindstrom – President of Uskor, Director of the Uskorian Naval Service

The Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola of the State of Sandus

Thomas Lee Harris, Jr. – Archdruid, MOCC Seminole County Comvocationry and 1st Archon, Council of Eight, Kingdom of Dubast.

Her Draconic Majesty Violet-Marie of Dubast

Commodore Claire Nymoria – Prime Ministe of Uskor, Chief of Naval Staff

The Right Honorable Dominic Desaintes – Minister-President of the Republic of Saint-Castin

S.A.S Jean-Pierre IV. Prince of the Principality of Aigues-Mortes

Andrew Janiszewski – President of the Republic of Zirconic

Our Trans* History: from the Transition Policy to the Denton Protocol

On Wednesday 26 July 2017, the American president Donald Trump announced that the United States Armed Forces “will not accept or allow Transgender individuals” to serve in any capacity, citing “the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender (sic) in the military would entail.” The decision comes after months of talking about the costs of transgender people serving in the military and focusing predominantly on healthcare costs, although most estimate that 0.005-0.017% of the military’s healthcare costs of $49.3USD billion would cover transition related costs. Trump’s presidential announcement, as well, marks a clear break from the presidential candidate, who promised to be the “best president for LGBT (sic)” during the campaign season. Instead, his administration has removed protections for transgender students in schools, undone employment nondiscrimination executive orders for federal employees and contractors, and instated this most recent ban on transgender service-people in the US Armed Forces.

The decision to renew a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for American transgender service-members is starkly different from the State of Sandus, the other condominium partner according to Sandus’s Gradient Sovereign Condominium Theory.

Since 2012, the State of Sandus has offered a policy to help cover the costs of starting one’s transition by covering the cost of chest binders for transgender people up to $50USD. This policy also covers cosmetics and other necessary undergarments and garments for transgender people who have started to transition and need essential clothing for the process. In 2014, the policy was funded by Sandus’s first budget and has been funded again this year by the first annual budget.

TransgenderDayofRemembrance

An official poster for Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Sandus also marks several transgender days of recognition, including Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) and Transgender Day of Visibility. On 23 November 2013, to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance, Sande Amici, a Sandum focus group on Second Life, held a discussion “Gender Identity in the Ancient World” on analogues of transgender identities in classical antiquity.

Sandus has drawn criticism from conservative micronations for its out-spoken stance on transgender issues. In March 2014, after months of recurring attacks and slurs against transgender micronationalists, Sandus and Zealandia jointly condemned transphobia in micronationalism, but refused to single out specific micronationalists. Finally, in response to refusing to use transgender micronationalists’ appropriate names, styles of address, and office titles, Sandus promulgated the Denton Protocol in order to exert diplomatic influence on those unnamed micronationalists to address transgender micronationalists correctly. The move drew the ire of conservative micronationalists and the frustration of their more moderate partners, but the Protocol worked: by the end of the year, transgender micronationalists started to be addressed appropriately and the diplomatic crisis was resolved for the time being.

But Sandus has even been ostracised from segments of the intermicronational community for its pro-transgender stance. In July 2016, after Sandus had applied to become a member of the Grand Unified Micronational, the GUM Quorum of Delegates, championed by the then-GUM Chair Shane Cahill and Austenasian Emperor Jonathan, rejected Sandus’s application while citing concerns over Sandus’s adherence to the Denton Protocol, despite assurances that the protocol would be irrelevant to Sandus’s activity in the organisation and despite the fact the protocol had not been used in two years. And, when Sandus applied to observe the GUM again in January 2017, Sandus’s application received the same result: rejection. This time, however, others began to take note of the absurdity of the decision and Sandus received the support of the Lord Spiritual of Mercia, an opponent of the Denton Protocol, who stated that the GUM’s accusations were “baseless and sensational.”

GovermentLogo S8gm8

The Office of the Sôgmô’s logo includes the Sôgmô’s official pronoun, það.

That Sandus should be a strong proponent for the transgender community is obvious given that LGBT people comprise a majority of Sandum citizens. The Sôgmô, who is both bisexual and androgynous, uses the Icelandic neuter pronoun “það” as a gender neutral pronoun for því personally and officially for State business. Some micronations, moreover, have responded more positively and respectfully than others. Exempli gratia, when the Sôgmô visited the Emperor of Angyalistan in Vincennes, France, the Emperor addressed the Sôgmô by þess official pronoun. Sandum citizens, as well, have historically been congratulated by their comrade citizens and by the Sôgmô personally for their bravery in coming out as LGBTQ+, such as with peregrina citizen Artemis Baca.

According to a March 2015 poll held on the occasion of International Women’s Day, a super-majority of Sandum citizens thought that Sandus was a postgender society.

Although a majority stated they believed in traditional gender roles, 67% of Sandum citizens who responded to the poll stated that they thought that Sandus is a postgender society, that Sandus should be a postgender society in their opinion, and that they believe their macronation (the United States) should be more of a postgenderist society. Sandus’s policies towards postgenderism in Sandum society and culture appear to be seen positively by Sandum citizens according to this poll.

Postgenderism is a sociopolitical and cultural movement for the voluntary elimination of gender-based discrimination and of gender in human species through the application of biotechnology and the undoing of socialised psychological gendering. By comparison, 59% of foreign micronationalists responded that their micronation should be a postgender society.

With this history and public opinion in the State of Sandus, it is no wonder that Sandus is a prominent proponent of transgender issues.

Le Mur des Drapeaux has been Removed

An early image of the Mur des Drapeaux, from October 2010.

Le Mur des drapeaux in October 2010

Sandus’s oldest Sandum national monument, le Mur des drapeaux, or “the Wall of the Flags,” has been removed from the Office of the Sôgmô in the Palace of State, Kremlum Sandus Province. The wall has been deconstructed in preparation for the Sôgmô’s move to Michigan, where það will attend graduate school.

The wall dates from June 2009 when the then-Lama of the Grand Lamate of Sandefreistikhan commissioned the wall as a national monument to flags of countries and movements which reflected þess vision for Sandus’s future. Early on, the Hammer and Sickle Flag, used by the USSR and subsequently by American Communists, featured prominently, as did the Tibetan flag as Sandefreistikhan was a Buddhist country. In addition, flags of French-speaking nations—like Québec, France, and Belgium—were also a key fixture.

Over the years, various flags have been added to the wall including the Maryland state flag, since Sandus’s cultural heartland is a condominium with the state of Maryland. Several high-profile and well-publicised flags have also been added, such as the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag and the Icelandic national flag.

The most recent flags to be inducted onto the wall were the flags of the United States and Canada, in commemoration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of the Articles of Confederation, in July 2017.

The flags will be moved to Michigan, where the Sôgmô will commission a new Mur des drapeaux. As a part of this move, the display of the flags will be made more regular and will be accompanied in the future with citations explaining why flags are placed on the wall.

The Flags of le Mur des Drapeaux

FlagofSandus

The Sandum Tricolour takes precedence on the wall since it placed independently of all the other groupings of flags and in a more prominent location.

The Sandum Tricolour is followed by:

  1. the flag of Belgium
  2. the Bi* Pride flag
  3. the flag of Canada
  4. the flag of the European Union
  5. the flag of France
  6. the flag of Germany
  7. the flag of Iceland
  8. the LGBTQ+ Pride flag
  9. the flag of Maryland
  10. the flag of Switzerland
  11. the flag of Tibet
  12. the flag of Tunisia
  13. the flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
  14. the flag of the United Kingdom
  15. the flag of the United States

Sôgmô awarded an astounding 5 Decorations at MicroCon 2017

The Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola was awarded five decorations and medals at the MicroCon 2017 Gala on the evening of Saturday 24 June 2017. The medals come from a variety of micronations friendly with the State of Sandus, especially from micronations with which Sandus has had a strong rapport.

The Sôgmô expressed þess profound gratitude and appreciation at each awarding of the decorations.

Principality of Aigues-Mortes
Prince Jean Pierre IV and Princess Olivia-Eugénie of the Principality of Aigues-Mortes bestowed upon því the rank of Knight in the Grand Princely Order of the Pink Flamingo. The award was given by the Prince and Princess Aigues-Mortais in recognition of “the relation of eternal friendship which [það] has established between our two communities.” The medal was handmade by the Princely artist Countess Hélène de Bret in Aigues-Mortes.

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The Distinguished Micronational Service Award

House of Homestead
For meritorious activity toward the development of micronationalism and micropatriology, the Sôgmô received the beautiful Distinguished Micronational Service Award from Prince Arthur of the Andorran House of Homestead.

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The Desert Palm

Republic of Molossia
President Kevin Baugh of the Republic of Molossia granted a medal, known as the Desert Palm, to the Sôgmô. The citation for the medal reads, “The desert can be a barren place, but as the desert palm brings life to the wasteland, this medal signifies the bearer as having brought life to their own nation – and further demonstrates amity between our nations, as one would find among comrades at an oasis.”

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The Order of the Double Samara

Republic of Saint-Castin
The Sôgmô received membership in the Order of the Double Samara from the Castinien President-Minister. Membership in the order was given to the two other French-speaking micronationalists at the conference, Prince Jean Pierre and Princess Olivia-Eugénie of Aigues-Mortes. Queen Anastasia of the Kingdom of Ruritania also received a unique medal from Saint-Castin.

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The Order of the Snowflake

Grand Duchy of Westarctica
The Sôgmô was awarded the rank of Knight Commander in the Westarctican Order of the Snowflake, the second rank in the highest order of the Grand Duchy. During the awarding ceremony, the Grand Duke spoke about the Sôgmô’s leadership in the creation of Sandus’s culture and philosophy which, in the Grand Duke’s words, had led to the creation of a unique micronational project such as Sandus.