New York artist makes his own country in Utah.

On a remote piece of land out in Utah, a small red a yellow flag flies, representing the nation of Zaqistan. Zaq Landsberg decided to create his very own “sovereign nation” within the four acres of land he purchased in a desolate, dessert area in Utah ten years ago. Typically one would assume that an artist from New York would have no business in Utah, but Zaq Landsberg has worked very hard for his tiny nation, and he has faith in it.

President Landsberg’s ultimate goal is to make Zaqistan a legitimate country, but he knows that will be difficult, if not impossible. Things have moved very slowly over the past ten years, and as of now there are more pieces of art in Zaqistan than people. The nation is about 60 miles away from the nearest town, and about 15 miles away from the nearest paved road. Landsberg only goes out to Zaqistan a few days out of the year, but more recently he brought out some colleagues and the nation had its population peak at 13 people.

There are some things that aid Zaqistan’s legitimacy, like passports that you can apply for, that suggest a 40-dollar payment. There is the red and yellow national flag, a welcome sign, accompanied by “border control”, that is actually just a large robot statute. Zaqistan also has a national motto, “Something out of nothing”, which represents Landberg’s feelings for his nation. Zaqistan may not be a recognized by the United Nations, but it is a large step above an art gallery.

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