Republic of Jamtland
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Swedish Wikipedia. (February 2010)|
The United Republics of Jamtland, Herjeådalen and Ravund (often shortened to the Republic of Jamtland) is a humorous culture and marketing project or micronation, with regionalist and historical elements based in the Swedish County of Jämtland, located in the middle of Scandinavia. From the 10th to 12th century Jamtland was self-governing and was independent of any crown, hence the name "Republic of Jamtland". It was annexed in 1178 to the crown of Norway. It still exercised significant self-rule, and its primary connection to the Norwegian king was through paying royal taxes. The Orkney Islands were the only other area that enjoyed similar self-rule.
The Republic of Jamtland was founded in 1963 (recalling the former 10th-century republic) in reaction to emigration from the county. The event that triggered its foundation was the centralist plan of Swedish officials to merge Jämtland County with Västernorrland County. The founders organized an association, The Liberation Movement, and mobilized the people through the "freedom festival" Storsjöyran. TV entertainer Yngve Gamlin was "elected" president, and Jamtland was proclaimed a republic in its own right, within the Kingdom of Sweden.
The second president, the comedian Moltas Eriksson, described the Liberation Movement as "51% in jest and 49% in earnest". It is largely seen as a humorous hoax, and actual support for an independent state among the local population is low. The movement's main focus is to preserve and promote the Jamtlandic culture, language and way of life, but not independence for the three "constituent republics".
The current president (the third overall) is Ewert Ljusberg, a man again from show business. Once a year he makes a popular speech at the city festival Storsjöyran in Östersund where he agitates against and mocks the "Big-Swedes", the Swedish government and the European Union, in a simultaneously serious and joking manner.
Presidents of the Republic of Jamtland
- Yngve Gamlin (1963–1983)
- Moltas Ericsson (1983–1988)
- Ewert Ljusberg (1988–present)