The stadtholders at Spring Coronation 2018
The original flag of the Conch Republic, silly fake heraldry is underway.
The Whelk Republic of the East was founded by Gieffrei de Toesni and Anna Dokeianina Syrakousina in annoyance of being moved around all the time because of Gieffrei's naval career. Much like the real Conch Republic of the Florida Keys, it has no real clout as a microstate, and was created purely out of schtick.
Weary from moving from the East, to Caid, and then to Trimaris in less than 2 years, Anna had enough. Sitting on the tile floor of their apartment in Atlantic Beach, with no furniture, a bottle of wine deep, Anna declared that she and Jeff should form their own Conch Republic. Jeff thought it best to ignore her at this time as Anna was prone to melodrama (she is Byzantine, after all.) After settling in, and finally making it to a few local Trimarian events, Jeff became in agreeance to this plan.
The name was derived from an ancient and venerable family legend on Anna's side, wherein at a fancy dinner party back in 1980 whatever, Anna's mother found herself in a hoity toity conversation about interior decorating. After listening to uppity folk discuss the merits of their neo-colonialism, the sainted mother stated that her style was "Early Disaster", a hodgepodge of second hand furniture and bric-a-brac that has no rhyme or reason but provides a lived-in feel.
Being that they could not declare themselves sovereigns as king and queen (and of a republic, that would be just silly), Her Excellency and His Lordship decided that "stadtholder" would be a perfectly fine term to use. It is a period term from the 16th Century Dutch Republic, and only came up because they had been bingewatching "Versailles" on Netflix. But since this is nothing but a cherry picked attempt at hilarity, continuity to their personae in the 11th Century made no sense anyway.
Anna and Gieffrei reverted to East Kingdom citizenship from Trimarian one day after the 36th Anniversary of the real secession (and one minute rebellion!) of the Conch Republic in 1982. They decided to change the name from "Conch" to "Whelk" to better fit in with old world shells, and not be total copycats.
Anna Dokeianina Syrakousina, Baroness of the Alligators, Stadtholder of The Whelk Republic
Gieffrei de Toesni, Lord Regent of the King's Bay, Stadtholder of The Whelk Republic