There is a small village in southern Sweden that has fairly ordinary attractions: a couple of cafés, a general store, a busy bus stop, a community bulletin board… but this is no ordinary village. Önneköp, population 206, has its own national flag, diplomatic corps, and secret guerilla army. And to top it off, a Cannibal Museum.
The Republic of Önneköp declared its independence from Sweden in 1995, and it’s been ruling itself—with tongue firmly planted in cheek—for the past two decades. The “micronation” was announced with a bold flag featuring a cuckoo bird in flight over a steaming cup of coffee. The symbolism refers to its national drink called Kaffegöken, or cuckoo-coffee, which is basically some hot brew spiked with vodka. The national motto is “Kaffegöken det bästa är, den leder aldrig till besvär,” or “The best thing about cuckoo-coffee, it never leads to trouble.”
Önneköp has a handful of part-time ministers, led by local museum owner Arnold Wernersson (he’s the one who runs the Cannibal Museum). While they’ve been able to maintain most diplomatic relations, all has not been entirely conflict-free. Deploying the Önneköp Republican Army (the ÖRA, an army so secret most recruits have no idea they are members) they recently attacked the neighboring village of Huaröd.
Every five years Huaröd organizes a carnival, with a procession through town and lots of live music. In 2012 its peaceful celebration was literally crashed by the ÖRA’s Air Force when two parachutists landed in the middle of the festivities to claim the village for its own territory.
All was of course forgiven when visiting rights were extended to the good people of Huaröd, and an invitation to make themselves welcome in the Republic of Önneköp. Now the only thing worrying the Önneköp ministers is how Huaröd might try and get even.
Know Before You Go
Önneköp is in rural southern Sweden, best visited by car. You can see the flag of the Republic in the town square, and flying in front of some establishments like the La Flambee French restaurant.