Most People Have No Idea An Actual Kingdom Exists In Wisconsin
We might say in jest that Aaron Rodgers is the king of Wisconsin, but did you know that there is an actual kingdom within our state? You won’t see the leaders of this kingdom on the covers of the tabloids in the grocery checkout line, but there is definitely a kingdom within Wisconsin.
First, we need to go back to 1979. A boy by the name of Robert Ben Madison had a little bit of angst that parents know all so well, and he made the decision to secede from the United States. He declared that his bedroom was a sovereign nation. The name of his nation? The Kingdom of Talossa. Talossa is a Finnish word for “inside the house.”
So, okay, the kid is good at make-believe. Why do we care? Well, actually, Robert is the founder of the one of the longest-standing micro-nations in existence. Really.
Madison told everyone that he was the leader of this sovereign nation, and people were quite supportive. In fact, his friends and his relatives said that they would become citizens of this new nation. Of course, everyone thought he was just a lonely and strange boy who would eventually forget all about Talossa. But he didn’t.
Instead, this reinforced Madison’s commitment to Talossa. Madison started a newspaper for his kingdom, and he even created an emblem for the Kingdom. Still, people snickered and just humored the boy.
All of a sudden, Madison’s life changed overnight. In the mid-90s, when some boys were experimenting with making their first websites, Madison made a website for Talossa. The media caught on and Talossa suddenly became big news. In today’s terms, it went viral. The Kingdom, which had previously been contained in the house, then expanded to five square miles. The nation claimed a portion of Milwaukee as well as other locations throughout the world, reaching as far as Antarctica.
And that’s when things got real. Talossa has its own language. You can learn all 28,000 words by reading the dictionary. The language has been adapted over decades and is fairly sophisticated for being made up. Multiple political parties emerged, as well as a mythology about the origin of Talossa. A culture distinctive to Talossa emerged. And, of course, Talossa got its own national anthem.
Talossa has had some real growing pains. There was the secession of 2004. It did not lead to a Civil War, and eventually the seceded persons came back, but not before forming the Republic of Talossa. But it was too much for Madison, who decided someone else should take some time ruling. There have been two kings since. The first was a 4th grader named King Louis. His reign, however, only lasted a year, when he decided he needed to focus on 5th grade. Currently, King John rules.
And that’s the Kingdom of Talossa. Are you a resident? Were you aware this kingdom existed? Let us know in the comments.