Commonwealth of Estmere
Motto: Resurgere velut phoenicem
Rise like the Phoenix
and largest city
|Recognised national languages|
|Recognised regional languages|
|Government||Federal parliamentary constitutional republic|
|Alice Roberts (Ind)|
|Zoe Halivar (PSD)|
|Andrew Thompson (PSD)|
|Chamber of Peers|
|Chamber of Commons|
|1010 to 1011|
• Republic established
|1 May 1936|
|13 June 1938|
• Founded the EC
|1 January 1948|
|282,679 km2 (109,143 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2021 estimate
• 2015 census
|198.40/km2 (513.9/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2012)|| 25.4|
|HDI (2014)|| 0.919|
|Currency||Euclo (EUC (€))|
|Time zone||Euclean Standard Time|
Estmere (pronounced [ˈɛst.mɪər], Swathish: Ėastmẹrland, Flurian: Estme), officially the Commonwealth of Estmere (Swathish: Cyneviġs af Ėastmẹrland, Flurian: Républyique d'Estme), is a country primarily centred in northeastern Euclea. The Euclean metropole is bounded to the east and south by the Gulf of Assonaire and Florian Ocean, while the northern border is primarily defined by the Neeves. The states of Kingsport and St Roberts and Fleming are entirely surrounded by the Vehemens Ocean. Estmere has a total land area of 282,679 km2 (109,143 sq mi), making it the eighth-largest country in Euclea. The country borders Werania and Borland to the north, Alsland and Valduvia to the west, and Hennehouwe to the southwest. It shares a maritime boundary with North Kabu.
The Commonwealth has an estimated population of 59 million, and is the fifth-most populous country in Euclea. This population is highly urbanised, and Estmere has a population density of 198.40/km2 (513.9/sq mi); the fourth-densest country in Euclea. Estmere is a federal parliamentary constitutional republic of thirteen constituent states operating under the Northabbey model. The capital city is Morwall, which with a population of 8.7 million is also the largest city in Euclea. Morwall and the South Scitterland conurbation form part of the greater Coastal Corridor, a pattern of urban development stretching across eastern Euclea.
Estmere has been inhabited since the Upper Paleolithic, and by the Iron Age was primarily home to Tenic people known as the Albans. The majority of the area was subsumed by the Solarian Republic in 32 CE following the Albannic Wars. The tribes were largely assimiliated, giving rise to the Solaro-Albans. The fall of Solaria in 426 allowed for the migration of Old Swathish tribes, who came to control the region, giving rise to the Hexarchy. The Old Swathish kingdoms were themselves conquered by the Verique at the behest of the Verliquoian Empire in 1011, leading to the Sotirianisation of Estmere and the formation of the Eastern Marches under Richard I. The Great Anarchy from 1264 to 1281 saw massive upheaval in Estmere, with Clovis I ending the elective monarchy and granting royal assent to the formation of Parliament. Estmere was the birthplace of the Amendist Reaction, and became a major player during the Amendist Wars, wherein it was the largest of the Amendist powers. Estmere also emerged as a colonial power, establishing settler colonies in New Estmere and Lothicania.
After losing the Ten Years' War in 1721, and ceding its colonial possessions to the Gaullican Empire, Estmere seized the Hennish colonies of Nuvania and Hope in 1747 in the Estmerish-Hennish War. This, combined with the consolidation of territories in Satria and South Coius, gave rise to the Second Empire, and the union of the Estmerish and Borish crowns in 1801 under Edward II led to the formation of the Kingdom of Estmere and Borland. Estmere comprised a major component of the counter-revolutionary powers during the Euclean Revolution Wars starting in 1783, but was unable to prevent the wider Euclean Spring, with Estmere itself emerging as a solidly constitutional monarchy. Estmere eventually supported Weranian Unification in 1842 and sided with Werania during the War of the Triple Alliance, restoring its prestige and giving rise to the Alte Bruderschaft. As part of New Imperialism, Estmere remained one of the largest colonial powers and took part in the Scramble for Coius. Estmere was a major power in the victorious Grand Alliance during the Great War, but was almost entirely occupied by Gaullica, and was devastated by the conflict. The monarchy was abolished by referendum in 1936, with the the Transitional Authority adopting a new republican constitution in 1938. Estmere then emerged as a major sponsor of liberal democracy across the globe, helping to found both the Community of Nations in 1935 and the Euclean Community in 1948. Estmere decolonised starting in the 1940s, was a participant in the Solarian War, and became a major force within the Euclean Community. In the 21st century, Estmere was badly affected by the 2005 recession and the 1/11 bombings in the Anni horribiles.
Estmere is considered a great power in the modern day, with the second-largest economy in Euclea. The Estmerish economy operates largely as a mixed social market economy, with an innovative manufacturing sector. Estmere is a developed country with a high standard of living, ranking very highly on HDI. Estmere maintains a significant welfare state, with universal healthcare, a world-class edcuation system and significant social security. Estmere is considered a centre for cutting-edge science and culturally significant art. It has the seventh-most CONESCO Heritage Sites. It is one of the few states to operate nuclear weapons and is a permanent member of the CNSC. It is a member of the CN, the EC, EstCom, the AEDC, ECDTO, the ICD, GIFA, the ITO and the B-15.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Government and politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
The Estmerish name Estmere is derived from the Early Estmerish term est marchen, meaning Eastern Marches, which was used to refer to Estmere prior to the collapse of the Verliquoian Empire. Eventually the term became a single word, and in Estmerish the -en suffix was dropped. Both the modern Estmerish name and the modern Swathish name, Ėastmẹrland, derive from this. The Flurian name, Estme, is believed to be instead derived from the Old Verique term est mé, meaning sea to the east.
Human history in Estmere is believed to have started just under a million years ago, but anatomically modern humans arrived in the area far more recently, displacing Neanderthals around 35,000 years ago. An example of these early humans is Bardley man, a male human fossil found in Estmere dating to the Mesolithic. Early humans in the area were hunter-gatherers, hunting local fauna using at first spears, and later bows and arrows. The regional climate became milder after the end of the glacial period, and sedentary cultures emerged in the region that utilised animal husbandry and early agriculture, ushering in the Neolithic. The local cultures were consistently changing, and were effected by waves of migration. There are a number of sites that showcase Neolithic Estmere, such as the Heart of Neolithic Estmere in Longwoodshire and Todton Hill, a ceremonial burial site and monument near St Richards.
The emergence of bronze-working and wider metallurgy near the end of the 3rd millenium BCE within the dominant Bell Beaker culture saw the region transition to the Bronze Age. Changes in the climate led to migrations from the defendable hills to the fertile valleys, which contributed to increased population growth. The emergence of iron-working around 400 BCE led to the start of the Iron Age in the region. By this time, the region was inhabited largely by Weranic peoples in the far north and Tenic people in the south and midlands. These peoples were divided into a number of tribes, the territory of which shifted greatly over time. The Tenics in the region were related to the close-by Gauls, and were known as the Albans. Prominent Tenic tribes included the Boudicii and the Gangrels. There are numerous examples in Estmere of records made using ogham and Weranic runes carved into stone tablets.
The coast of Estmere was explored by ancient Piraeans, and there is evidence of trade between local tribes and the Piraean city states. The region was first recorded by Piraean explorer Asphalion of Sidydon around 800 BCE, who visited the Estmerish coast and described the Bright Cliffs of Branset in vivid detail. The Albans remained the dominant group in classical Estmere until the conquest of much of the south and midlands of Estmere by the Solarian Republic in 32 CE. In the ensuing Albannic Wars, Boudicii leader Andrasta stalled the invading forces for some time, but the region eventually fell under Solarian rule. The river Mor and the Longwood range formed natural boundaries between the northern expanse of the Empire and the area known as Weranica. The region was largely comprised of the province of Albannica.
As the Solarian Republic transformed into the Solarian Empire, Albannica was a key province in support of the Augustus faction, with the Legions of the province all being under the command of the would-be Emperor. A number of Solarian colonies were founded in the region, most notably Marinium, Ballo and Claudodunum. Gradually, the local Tenic population adopted a local form of Vulgar Solarian, known as Alban Vulgar Solarian, and eventually they emerged as Solaro-Albans, adopting a great deal of Solarian culture alongside the language, subsuming the earlier Albannic traditions. Despite this assimilation and achievement of Solarianitas, the province remained a Praetorian Prefecture throughout its existence, due to its strategic location as a border province, and the consistent threat of Weranic tribes to the north.
By the early 400s CE, rising instability in Solaria and changes in the climate gave rise to a migration of Weranic tribes, most notably the Swerdians, Fredians and Gutans, who crossed the border at the Mor river and successfully conquered the region from the Solarians, who were preoccupied with the instability at the capital. The migrating armies would continue to rampage throughout the Solarian Empire, eventually sacking Solaria in 426 and causing the transition to the Verliquoian Empire. Everywhere except for a small southern pocket controlled by Verliquois, the Solaro-Albans were assimiliated by the emerging Old Swathish, who heavily settled in the country.
The Weranic tribes which had migrated to Estmere settled, and a unique Old Swathish culture emerged from the intermingling of the Swerdians, Fredians and Gutans, and the estmerisation of the Solaro-Albans, many of whom integrated into the culture and even became leaders. Estmere during this period was divided into a number of petty kingdoms, which eventually coalesced into six distinct states with unique cultures, during a period known as the Hexarchy. The six major states of the Hexarchy were Northmoria which dominated the north, Agenland which was prominent in the east, and the kingdoms of Wesren, Midricia, Cynricia and Domuc. These states were joined by a number of smaller kingdoms, such as Beatland, most of which were eventually subsumed by the larger entities.
Sotirianity had appeared in Estmere under Solarian rule, but it wasn't until the time of the Hexarchy that the religion became widespread. The Old Swathish were initially followers of a distinct Old Swathish paganism, venerating deities such as Woden, Thunor and Tiw. Efforts to Sotirianise Estmere began in earnest in 654 CE, when the Laurentine mission to the country was organised by the Solarian Catholic Church. In 707, Æthelstan of Domuc became the first Old Swathish monarch to be baptised. Æthelstan was later martyred, and though Domuc eventually became a bullwark of Sotirianity, most of the kingdoms resisted Sotirianisation. Small communities of Sotirians nevertheless proliferated. Across the Hexarchy, the Old Swathish created a robust bureaucracy and legal system, such as the first records of a modern trial by jury, which was considered impressive in comparison to other systems at the time.
Starting around 850 CE, Estmere became a target of Ghaillish Marauders as the Marauder Age began. The raiders were drawn to Estmere due to its unprotected coastline, the infighting of the Hexarchy and the high quantity of profitable trade routes in the country. Tolbyrig, a major city and the historical capital of Northmoria, was sacked by Marauders once in 859 and again in 872. The most notable Marauder activity in Estmere was the foundation of the city of Dún Lonrach in 911, under the leadership of Seárlas White-Eye. This city grew into a sizable kingdom and launched raids across Euclea, as far south as Gaullica.
In 1010, Agenland annexed the rump kingdom of Domuc. In the process it desecrated the tomb of Saint Æthelstan and ordered an expulsion of the Sotirian population. News of this eventually reached the Emperor of Verliquois, who began organising a crusade to relieve Domuc, with support from the Pope. His retainers, the Verique, headed the invasion. Two campaigns were conducted, one through the Hennish counties and one over the Gulf of Assonaire.
Initially, other kingdoms were reluctant to align with Agenland, which had been bellicose in recent years. Eventually, however, the crusaders burnt the pagan monument known as the Voryldsẏl, which rallied other pagan rulers to Agenland's defence. Despite this, most of the Old Swathish were defeated in 1011 at the Battle of Wimney, cementing the Verique conquest of Estmere. The overwhelming majority of the Old Swathish nobility were tried as heretics and put to the stake, with the notable exception of Edward of Northmoria and a small number of other surviving lords who converted to Sotirianity.
The Verique established the Eastern Marches, and Richard Harcourt was elected from among their number as the first King of Estmere. The Verique co-opted much the existing legal system and bureaucracy to aid in the consolidation of their control over the country. North of the river Mor, most land remained in Swathish hands, but in the south the Verique settled extensively and Swathish lords were stripped of their land.
In 1024, the Sotirian community of Borland - the lords of which had refused to support Agenland and had been spared conquest - petitioned Richard to liberate them from their pagan rulers. With Verliquoian support, Estmere therefore launched an invasion of Borland. This quickly spiralled out of control, however, as the Borish themselves rallied the pagan kingdoms of northern Euclea to their defence. The war concluded in 1027, and the pagan alliance evolved into the Rudolphine Confederation to resist Sotirianisation.
Though the Marches functioned as an independent kingdom, Richard and his successors paid lip service to the Emperor. This lip service was forgone in 1182, when a backlash to taxation led Robert III and his son Robert IV to fight the War of Estmerish Independence against a weakened Verliquoian Empire until 1191, leading to the emergence of an independent Kingdom of Estmere. The House of Harcourt and its cadet branches remained on the throne until the Great Anarchy.
Starting in 1264, Estmere was gripped by a period of lawlessness and civil conflict known as the Great Anarchy. Two rival clamaints to the throne threw the system of elective monarchy into disarray, with the two candidates tied for votes, resulting in both marshalling their forces and fighting the Battle of Nundale. Phillip emerged victorious, but the battle had depleted his armies. He sought to raise a poll tax in 1266, in order to raise a new standing army with which to fight another war to subjugate Borland. However, with five years of poor harvests - and a growing famine - most of the peasantry was unable to pay the unpopular tax.
Despite peasant opposition, tax collecters nevertheless attempted to gather the levy. Peasants were unable to pay, and civil disobedience to the tax quickly spiraled into a peasant revolt. A peasant army led by Kit Archer began to assemble, and marched onto the royal seat of Castle Harcourt in 1268 with a list of demands to make of Phillip; namely, the abolition of the poll tax. The peasants believed that the king was noble, and merely surrounded by bad advisors. This perspective was shattered when the king personally led his knights in a charge against the peasants. Philip was killed by a rogue arrow, his knights beaten, and all Harcourt heirs killed. The peasants declared a peasants' republic at the castle, but it was ultimately short-lived.
Count Clovis of Vernon assembled and led an army which defeated the peasant rebellion, and crowned himself as king. For the next few years, he dealt with the banditry in the country, before finally being challenged by minor members of the aristocracy in the Counts' Rebellion in 1276. He defeated the rebel lords in 1281, effectively bringing an end to the Great Anarchy, and he emerged as a uniquely powerful king in Estmere. To prevent a second anarchy and further discord, Clovis abolished the elective monarchy, instituting primogeniture to ensure that his successors would of his Vernon dynasty. He also consolidated many of the smaller counties into larger duchies, and gave royal assent to the first Parliament, with a Chamber of Lords and the Chamber of Commons. These reforms aimed to weaken the power of smaller counts, and to maintain the loyalty of most prominent lords, and wealthy peasants from the emerging burgess class.
Early modern period
Estmerish priest Johanne Stearn sparked the Amendist Reaction against the control of the Solarian Catholic Church in Euclea, and his death in 1513 served to martyr him. Estmere became the birthplace of Amendism, at the heart of the Amendist Belt. The Embrian Communion was created in 1519 by Robert Welby as a via media between a Gospelite-style state church and Kasperite congregationalism. The invention of the printing press only furthered the spread of Amendism.
Growing religious tensions in the Rudolphine Confederation culminated in the Euclean Wars of Religion from 1582 to 1602, in which Estmere was the primary Amendist power, leading the Confessional League of Amendist princes within the Confederation, supported by non-Confederation powers such as the Soravian Empire. The conflict was hugely destructive and devastated the region. The wars ended with the Peace of Frankendorf which guaranteed the principle of cuius regio, eius religio. Estmere emerged from the Amendist Wars as a major power, having significantly undermined the authority of the Rudolphine Protector and the Catholic Church.
Following the navigations of Assim Asteris, Estmere would begin to establish settler colonies in the Asterias, paving the way for the Estmerish colonial empire. Estmerish explorers such as Henry Carival would claim the lands of New Estmere in 1578 and Lothicania in 1584. Several other colonies were established across the continent, with some of these seized from other powers, such as Imagua, which was conquered from Geatland in 1658. Estmere competed in the Asterias with other colonial powers, chiefly the Gaullican Empire, to which the majority of Estmere's new world possessions were transferred in 1721 following Estmere's defeat in the Ten Years' War.
Estmere then seized the Hennish colonies of Nuvania and Hope in the 1747 Estmerish-Hennish War, giving rise to the Second Estmerish empire. Estmere supported the Asterian patriots in the Asterian War of Secession, helping them win independence from the Gaullican Empire in 1771 and recapturing Imagua in the process.
Estmerish sovereignty was restored following the Great War, with the establishment of the Transitional Authority. This unified the remnants of the government-in-exile with the Estmerish Resistance to form new a provisional government. A constitutional assembly was elected, chaired by Wolfgar E.R. Godfredson. Richard XIII was convinced to abdicate, and the monarchy was abolished following the 1936 referendum, while Borland was granted independence. The 1937 mutiny saw Swathish socialist officers revolt, and ensured that Estmere adopted a federal constitution.
-the Solarian War
-the foundation of the Euclean Community
-the foundation of the Estmerish Community
Estmere is the twelfth-largest country in Euclea, with a total area of 282,679 square kilometres (109,143 sq mi). The majority of the population and territory of Estmere is located in continental Eastern Euclea and is known as mainland Estmere, to differentiate it from overseas Estmere. Mainland Estmere borders Werania to the north, Borland to the north and east, Hennehouwe to the southwest, and Alsland and Valduvia to the west. The east and southern borders of mainland Estmere are delineated by the Gulf of Assonaire and the Florian Ocean. The overseas states of Kingsport and St Roberts and Fleming are surrounded entirely by the Vehemens Ocean, sharing no land borders, although Estmere shares a maritime boundary with North Kabu through Kingsport.
Topographically, mainland Estmere is divided roughly in two between the predominantly lowland south and the more upland and mountainous north. The north is dominated by the Swathish Highlands, a region of rugged upland dominated by moors which is sparsely populated outside of a number of river valleys, and the course of the Neevan mountain range, which forms part of the border with Werania, Valduvia and Alsland, with the notable exception of the Longwoodshire panhandle. The north is home to a number of prominent woodlands, too, which are the origin of it's common name Wealdland. Southern Estmere, in comparison, is predominantly low-lying land, including the Estmerish Lowlands which is historically dominated by heathland, the historically marshy fens of Leveeland which is now a breadbasket region, and the hilly wooded Hennish Marches along the border with Hennehouwe. Southern Estmere is also home to the Southern Isles, which act as barrier islands for the mainland. The Estmerish Midlands act as a transition zone between these two distinct bioregions, and are historically home to drier grassland and thinner forests than are found in the north, as well as a number of river valleys, most notably the Swatch and Western Valleys.
The highest point in Estmere is Mount Verdant in the Neeves at 4,634 metres (15,203 ft) above sea level, while the country's lowest point is in Evre at −7 metres (−23 ft) below sea level. Estmere is home to the start of eight major rivers and to five major river mouths. The longest rivers are the River Mor, the River Scitter and the River Dame, while other major rivers include the River Richard and the River Selter. The south is dominated by river mouths, and they are the origin of Fluria, the historic name for the region.
The climate of mainland Estmere is primarily temperate, with seasonal variation. Temperatures generally stay between -20 °C and 35 °C, and there is a moderate to high level of rainfall throughout the year. In the mainland prevailing winds are westerly, due to its position in the Northern Hemisphere. Owing to the temperate northern climate, mainland Estmere experiences four seasons (Spring, summer, autumn and winter). The highest temperature ever recorded in mainland Estmere was 45.1 °C on 22 July 2020 in St Avelines, and the lowest was −40.2 °C on 6 January 1977 in the Neeves.
Most of mainland Estmere is classified as an oceanic climate (Cfb), but some areas are home to different climates. Great swathes of the Swathish Highlands experience a warm-summer humid continental climate (Dfb), while much of the Estmerish Neeves and Longwoodshire experience a subarctic (Dfc) or aventine climate (ET). The highest peaks of the Neeves can be classified as an ice cap climate (EF). The southern coast and much of the state of Evre experiences a humid subtropical climate (Cfa). The climate on the southern coast is still temperate, but summers are warmer with mean temperatures higher than in the rest of the country, and with higher than average humidity. Summers are coolest in the Neeves. On the mainland, summers are hot and dry, with summer days usually sunny but sometimes overcast. Conversely, winters are cold and wet.
Overseas Estmere is home to different climates than the mainland. Kingsport experiences a purely tropical rainforest climate (Af), while St Roberts and Fleming is a marginal case, which experiences a tropical rainforest climate bordering very closely on humid subtropical. Hurricanes, deforestation and desertification are major climate-related issues for the islands, with both located in the hurricane belt. Average temperatures are higher in overseas Estmere than those of the mainland. Climate change, in particular rising sea levels, are a major threat to both mainland and overseas Estmere.
Government and politics
Since the ratification of the Estmerish constitution in 1938, Estmere has been a constitutional republic operating as a federation with a parliamentary system. The country is the birthplace of the Northabbey model of government, which is characterised by the presence of a parliamentary official opposition, an executive branch comprised of members of the legislature, responsible to that legislature, in addition to a ceremonial head of state different to the head of government. In Estmere, these roles are occupied by the President and the Prime Minister, respectively.
The legislative branch of the Estmerish government is the Parliament of Estmere, which is a bicameral institution comprised of two houses; the elected Chamber of Commons and the appointed Chamber of Peers. Estmere adheres to the concept of parliamentary sovereignty, meaning that the legislative branch is considered supreme to all other branches of government, holding absolute sovereignty. Due to this concept, the judicial branch is largely independent of political control, with judges on the High Court appointed by independent committees, but has limited powers of judicial review.
Since 2021, Estmere has been governed by a Progressive Social Democrats minority government, with support from the Greens, the Left Party and smaller parties. This replaced a coalition government between the Sotirian Democratic Union and the Reform Party. The SDU has acted as the Official Opposition, and Reginald Wilton-Smyth as the Leader of the Opposition, since 2023.
Progressive Social Democrats (253)
Supported by (78)
Vox Estmere (10)
Sotirian Democratic Union (199)
Centre Party (12)
Party of the Swathish (10)
Les Fleuvais Ensemblle (2)
Aldman Democratic Alliance (2)
The Estmerish legsilature is the Parliament of Estmere, a bicameral institution comprised of two houses. The Chamber of Commons forms the lower house, and is elected using the additional member system, with Members elected either to represent a constituency or as part of a party list. Parliamentary terms can last for a maximum of four years, after which another election must be held. Parliament is considered to be an example of imperfect bicameralism, as the Chamber of Commons is considered supreme among the two chambers, drafts all legislation, and is capable of overruling the Chamber of Peers.
As Estmere operates in line with the concept of parliamentary sovereignty, the executive branch is assembled from members of the Chamber of Commons, and is subsequently responsible to it. The Prime Minister is officially appointed by the President, based on their ability to command the confidence of the Chamber of Commons. The Prime Minister is therefore usually the leader of the largest party in the Commons. The Prime Minister appoints members of the Commons or Peers as ministers in their Cabinet, which is shadowed by the Leader of the Opposition and their Shadow Cabinet. Cabinet members generally oversee a department within the Estmerish government, such as the Department of Defence, and are subject to parliamentary accountability.
The upper house is the Chamber of Peers, which acts as a house of review. Peers are appointed to the chamber to serve for a single ten year term, after which they are ineligible to serve in the chamber again. One third of the seats are appointed by the President; these appointments are required to be politically neutral experts who sit as crossbenchers, while the remaining two thirds are appointed by the devolved administrations of the constituent states, and are not required to be non-partisan. Appointment to the Chamber of Peers is considered the highest reward in the Estmerish honours system.
Parliament is currently comprised of members representing eight parties. The current minority government is led by the centre-left Progressive Social Democrats, which is social democratic and progressive. The government is supported by the Greens, an environmentalist party, and the far-left Left Party, which is left-wing populist. The Official Opposition is led by the centre-right Sotirian Democratic Union, which espouses Sotirian democracy, conservatism and economic liberalism.
Other smaller partise also exist in opposition, with the centrist Reform Party being social liberal and strongly pro-Euclean, the Centre Party, which is agrarian and advocates for pensioners' interests, Vox Estmere, the Estmerish branch of the pan-Euclean Vox Euclea party, which espouses Euclofederalism and social liberalism, and future.es, which is a future party that campaigns for participatory e-democracy and copyright reform. There are also three nationalist and regionalist parties with federal representation, the Party of the Swathish, Les Fleuvais Ensemblle and the Aldman Democratic Alliance, which both espouse civic nationalism for speakers of Swathish, Flurian and Aldman respectively.
Estmere is a federal republic, with thirteen constituent states comprising the federation. The newest states are Kingsport and St Roberts and Fleming, which were admitted in September 2022. Estmere is then divided into counties, sometimes known as shires, each of which has a county council. The counties are further divided into either boroughs, cantreds, ridings or hundreds, and then into neighbourhoods, parishes or tithings.
Each state is essentially autonomous, with devolved administrations operating under the parliamentary system with a legislature and a first minister or mayor, making them largely autonomous in regards to internal affairs. All states are required to have Estmerish as an official language, while the national languages of Flurian and Swathish are co-official languages in six states each. In the overseas states of St Roberts and Fleming and Kingsport, Robertian Creole and Kabuese are co-official languages respectively. Aldman is a recognised language in two states.
Estmerish law is considered to be a hybrid system. Though resting largely on common law principles, starting in the 15th century the legal system adopted a number of features from civil law. These were largely taken from Solarian law, but also from the Gaullican and Weranic traditions. Legal precedent, legislation, custom and specific academic writings are all recognised as sources of law in Estmere. Since the foundation of the Euclean Community in 1948, Estmerish law has also been subject to Euclean law, and with it to the Euclean Court of Justice and the Fundamental Rights of the Euclean Community.
Trials in Estmere are conducted in front of a jury, but unlike most other countries, the Estmerish legal system is unique in that "not proven" is a possible verdict in a criminal trial; such a verdict results in an acquittal. There have been calls for the system to be reformed to remove this third verdict.
The High Court of Estmere is the country's final court of appeal. Judges on the High Court are appointed by independent selection committees, meaning that the courts are generally indepedent of political control. Due to the nature of parliamentary sovereignty, however, the High Court has limited powers of judicial review. Any legal decisions made by the High Court in civil or criminal cases are binding on other courts in the same jurisdiction.
Estmere is considered to be a historical great power, with experts placing particular emphasis on its considerable soft power. Since the conclusion of the Great War, Estmere has positioned itself as a supporter of liberal democracy across the globe, and has used its influence within international organisations to promote liberal democratic values. Although Estmere decolonised in the post-war era, it has maintained a costly military presence south of Aurean, retains considerable influence in former colonies such as Bamvango and Padaratha, and is involved in a number of post-colonial conflicts such as the Tsabaran Civil War.
Estmere shares a particularly close cultural, political and economic relationship with Werania, known as the Alte Bruderschaft. It also shares a close relationship with many of its former colonies, such as Rizealand and Nuvania, and is a founding member of the Estmerish Community along with other Estmerish-speaking nations. Estmere also enjoys a close relationship with Senria, with the military alliance between the two dating back to the Senrian Revolution.
Estmere is a member of a number of international organisations. It is a founding member of the Community of Nations, the Euclean Community and the International Council for Democracy, which is headquartered in the Estmerish capital of Morwall. Along with Gaullica and Werania, it is considered one of the Big Three within the EC. Within the Community of Nations, it enjoys a permanent seat on all six International Committees, most notably the Security Committee. It is a member of the Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs, the International Trade Organisation, and is one of the B-15 major economies.
Estmere maintains the third largest military within the Euclean Community, behind Gaullica and Werania, and is an active participant in ECDTO. The Estmerish Defence Force (EDF) acts as the armed forces of Estmere, and is comprised of the Estmerish Army (EA), the Estmerish Navy (EN), including its Federal Marines, and the Federal Air Force (FAF). There is also the Special Rapid Response Force ("Specref"), which acts as the special forces component of the EDF.
The commander-in-chief of the armed forces is the Prime Minister, while the Minister of Defence also exercises a number of powers in relation to the military. The President of Estmere has no involvement in the armed forces, and military personnel swear loyalty to the Commonwealth as a whole rather than to a single figure.
As of 2020, Estmere employs approximately 110,000 active personnel with roughly 50,000 personnel in reserve. Estmere's military expenditure totaled approximately €50.66 billion, just over 2% of the country's GDP. The minimum age of recruitment is 16, but active service is restricted to those aged 18 and over. Estmere is a recognised nuclear state, and so maintains a deployed arsenal of 110 nuclear weapons, all of which are sea-based. Estmere operates a blue-water navy, and is home to a number of major multinational arms manufacturers, such as Estmerish Materiel Systems and Aero Products International.
Mandatory conscription was abolished in 1982, and since then the Estmerish Defence Force has been a professional volunteer force. Military installations are maintained on the island of Kingsport, located in the Vehemens Ocean. The military operates on the principle of collective security with other EC states, and the aims of the military are outlined in the Estmerish constitution as the defence of the Estmerish people, the defence of the Commonwealth, and the defence of allied states.
Estmere has a social market economy, and is the second largest economy in Euclea, with a GDP PPP of $2.882 trillion and a nominal GDP of $3.208 trillion. The Estmerish economy has a significant welfare state, low barriers to trade and generally loose regaulations. Estmere uses the Euclo, formerly the Estmerish Shilling, as its national currency, and the Bank of Estmere acts as the central bank of Estmere. As Estmere is within the Euclozone, the Euclean Central Bank also fulfils some of those responisbilities. The Estmerish government has majority shares in energy production, telecommunications, transport, and some manufacturing companies.
Within the government, the Department of the Treasury and the Secretary of State for the Treasury are responsible for developing plans for government spending, and for implementing financial policy. Economic development, meanwhile, is instead guided by the Department of Economic Affairs. The Ministries are assisted by the National Economic Development Organisation (affectionately refered to as Neddy), a government-led organisation which brings together representatives of trade unions and businesses in to organise economic planning and allow for social dialogue.
The Estmerish economy is dominated by the service and industrial sectors, which comprise 68% and 30% of GDP respectively. Exports are important to the Estmerish economy, accounting for 42% of national output. Major exports include automobiles, transit equipment, machinery, chemical goods, electronics, pharmaceuticals, basic metals and plastics. The Estmerish manufacturing sector is particularly prominent, and it includes major automotive, aerospace, arms and steel companies; the Estmerish automotive industry is the fourth largest globally, one of the most innovative in the world, and is home to brands including Marcus Anton, Sheaford Automotive, Harcourt and Du Peupl'ye. 32 of the world's 500 largest companies are headquarted in Estmere. These include Duhamel, Speakman Group, Haberlin's, Crane & Company and Embro-Arucian. Due to the historic influence of the co-operative movement, Estmere is home to a number of co-operatives, most notably Uniex (historically known as the United Equitable Societies) and Mutual Credit Bank.
During the 1800s, Estmere became a leading force in the industrial revolution, giving rise to a strong manufacturing sector and laissez-faire philosophy of Estmerish liberalism. After the Great War, the abolition of the monarchy saw the country drift leftwards, as successive governments adopted a post-war consensus that combined ordoliberalism with the theories of the Knowlesby school, creating the foundation for the modern economic framework. This would allow for economic growth until the 70s, when stagflation became a major issue. The social market would be cemented in the following decade, when major reforms were enacting to combat staglfation, which allowed the economy to then grow until the 2005 recession, which saw the government institute austerity, weakening the social market. Large natural gas reserves were found in Estmerish waters starting in 1951, and the sale of this natural gas has become a major source of government revenue. The Caldish curse was largely avoided as Neddy demanded that profit from natural gas was spent to ensure the development of other economic sectors. Tourism and ports are other major contributors to the Estmerish economy; the twinned ports of Bouley and Dunwich are among the largest in Euclea.
Science and technology
Estmere has a strong scientific heritage, and remains a global leader in science, technology and research. Estmerish univerisites, such the prestigious Molbridge triangle comprising Morwall, Damesbridge and Tolbury, are world-renowned, and have one of the highest numbers of graduates in science and engineering in the world. These universities attract students from across the globe. Many scientists and researchers from Estmere have received recognition and awards for their work.
The country has been home to a number of prominent thinkers since the 17th century Scientific Revolution. These include Albrecht Döuer, who is credited with establishing the field of psychology, and other major figures such as William A. Salter, Philip Warren, James Douglass, and Samuel Harding. Estmere has also engaged in scientific exchange with other states throughout history, particularly with Gaullica. Despite the historical rivalry, scientists from both countries regularly collaborated as early as the 18th century. The most notable outcome of this collaboration was the discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid by Joseph Poole and Noël Touchard in 1949.
Estmerish inventors and industrialists played a leading role in the Industrial Revolution, shaping the modern Estmerish economy. Major developments in transportation were also made in Estmere. The first railways opened in Estmere during the 1830s. Stephen Talbot, Charles Mortimer and others made major contributions to rail, automotive, and air travel. Esmtere also had a long naval history, with major contributions dating back to the 15th century.
In modern day Estmere, research and development remains important, particularly in universities. These often cooperate with industry and government. Estmere is home to a number of scientific journals, such as Estmerish Medical Review, The Psychologist and Chemistry Quarterly. Estmere had a 9 per cent share of scitific citations between 2010 and 2015, the second-highest in the world. The Federal Scientific Society acts as Estmere's national academy of sciences. In addition, a number of learned and professional societies exist, such as the Estmerish Psychological Association and the Society of Estmerish Chemists.
While the service industry is the largest sector of the economy, Estmere's industrial base remains significant, and it continues to have one of the largest manufacturing sectors in Euclea, comprising 30% of gross domestic product. A number of manufacturing companies are nationalised or have significant government involvement, such as Estmerish Steel and Du Peupl'ye. Major manufacturing industries in Estmere include automobiles, transit equipment, machinery, chchemical goods, electronics, pharmaceuticals, basic metals and plastics. These are also major Estmerish exports.
Banking and finance
Estmere largest financial sectors in the world. While it is far smaller than the Weranian and Gaullican financial industries, it is still considered notable and is among the most prominent in the world. Banking in Estmere is dominated by four banks which form an oligopoly over the market, known as the Big Four. The Big Four are Jindao-Tolbury, Hargreaves, Morwall International (MIB), and Mutual Credit.
Energy and natural resources
Ports and transportation
The Estmerish economy is heavily integrated into the rest of Euclea, most notably through its highly-integrated transport infrastructure. This includes a number of international airports, such as Wolfgar Godfredson Memorial and Sheaford International. Estmere has had a long history as an entry point into Euclea, and its ports are major contributors to the economy as a whole. The modern Estmerish economy is highly reliant on international trade and the global economy.
The twinned ports of Bouley and Dunwich are the first and third largest in Euclea, respectively, and act as the primary entry point to Euclean markets, and as a major exit point for Estmerish and Euclean exports; Estmere is one of the world's leading exporters. Both were considered entrepôts and staple ports historically. The twinned ports share more than 58% of Euclean maritime traffic, handling hundreds of millions of tons of goods annually. They are among the world's busiest cargo ports; Bouley was the busiest port globally from 1939 until 2003, when it was overtaken by Baiqiao, and continues to be the busiest port in Euclea.
Estmere maintains an extensive road and rail network, the latter of which is one of the oldest in the world. Estmere has invested in high-speed rail, which works primarily to connect the urban areas of the metropolitan counties. It is also part of the wider Euclostar network. Railways in Estmere are operated as part of the publicly-owned Estmerail. There are also extensive ferry, bus and tram networks across the country which make up the bulk of public transit.
Estmerish is the sole official language of Estmere, and is by far the most widely spoken. It is estimated that 78% of the population speak Estmerish as their first language, while close to 94% are estimated to have a high level of proficiency in the language. Estmerish is considered a global language, second only to Gaullican, and is one of the six official languages of the Community of Nations.
The global extent of Estmerish is exemplified by the Estmerish Community, of which Estmere is a founding member, which unites countries sharing a history with the language.
Flurian and Swathish are widely-spoken minority languages, with their speakers centred in southern and northern Estmere respectively; both of these languages are enshrined in the Estmerish constitution as co-official national languages. Every state has at least one of the two tongues as a co-official language. Speakers have the right to be use these national languages in government and business across the country, and the languages are used on signage in their respective states. Flurian is estimated to be the first language of 4% of the Estmerish population, while the figure is estimated to be 13% for Swathish.
In Estmerish schools, it compulsory for students to learn Estmerish and one of the national or regional languages, in addition to one foreign language, up until the age of 14. Gaullican, Soravian, Weranic and Senrian are the four most commonly taught second languages, while Shangean and Valduvian have also increased in popularity in recent years, particularly at post-16 level.
There are other minority languages spoken alongside Flurian and Swathish. Estmerish Sign Language (ESL) is the most widely used sign language in the country, and is recognised as a national language. Aldman is spoken in the northwest, while Kabuese and Robertian Creole are spoken in Kingsport and St Roberts and Fleming respectively. All three are recognised as regional minority languages as of 2022.
A number of languages have also been brought to the country by immigrant communities. One out of every twenty people speak a foreign language in Estmere, according to the census. The most widely spoken of these include Tamisari, Rahelian, weRwizi and Shangean, with speakers largely centred in Morwall and other metropolitan areas.
Estmere is a secular state, and freedom of religion has been protected by the Estmerish constitution since its adoption in 1938. Sotirianity was the majority religion among the Estmerish population from the 5th century until the late 20th century, when church attendance declined heavily and irreligion became the largest religious affiliation in the country. Sotirianity still remains culturally important to the country, and Estmere has been described as post-Sotirian.
The 2020 census reported that 47.4% of the population identified as irreligious, to varying degrees including atheism, agnosticism, humanism and somethingism. 42.90% of the population identified as some form of Sotirian, with Amendism (including Gracialism, Gospelism, Kasperism, Witterism and Westmarckianism) remaining the largest Sotirian denominiation and comprising 26.8% of the total population. Amendism was followed by Catholicism, which was adhered to by 15.7% of the total population. The remaining Sotirian population was split between Episemialism at 0.4% of the population and other smaller Sotirian denominations, such as Ezekielanism, at 0.2%. Irfanics were the largest non-Sotirian religious group, comprising 4.9% of the population, and were followed by other religions (such as Atudaism and Badi at 1.20% each and Zohism at 1.9%) at 5.2% of the population collectively.
Historically, Estmere was considered a firmly Amendist country at the heart of the Amendist Belt, having been the birthplace of the Amendist Reaction and a leading Amendist power in the Wars of Religion. Amendism was the official state religion from 1519 to 1938. The Gracialist United Amended Church was the dominant and established church, though it considered itself to be in full communion with other Amendist churches in the country, and was heavily associated with the Estmerish monarchy. The UAC suffered major denominational splits in 1811, 1844 and 1889, which diversified Estmerish Amendism and gave rise to churches such as the evangelical and fundamentalist Reformed and Amended Church of Sotirias. Religion began to lose its influence in Estmere, particularly in Estmerish politics, between the 1960s and 1980s, with church attendance falling to under 50% in the 1970s, and the 1980 census being the first to show irreligion as the largest religious affiliation in Estmere. In addition, increased immigration to Estmere saw the rise of non-Sotirian religions such as Irfan, Badi, Zohism and Atudaism.
In spite of increasing secularism, Estmere retains cultural elements of Sotirianity, such as Sotirian religious holidays like Nativity and Easter also being counted as national holidays. Religion also has some level of influence in Estmerish politics, with three political parties with federal or Euclean representation having associations with the Sotirian faith; the Sotirian Democratic Union, the Centre Party and the Sotirian Heritage Party.
Religious adherance remains heavily tied to geography. The northern state of Swerdia has historically been seen as more strongly Catholic than the rest of the country, and a plurality in the state identify as Catholic. Amendist identification is concentrated to the Bible Belt which stretches through parts of the southern states of Roland, Evre, Arvorne and the Midlands. The Bible Belt is also considered far more evangelical and fundamentalist, and Amendism plays a stronger role in the politics and social life here than elsewhere in the country. Non-Sotirian religions are meanwhile centred in urban areas such as Morwall and the South Scitterland conurbation.
Estmerish law is relatively lax in terms of cults, sects and new religious movements, with these groups having the same legal rights are mainstream religions. This policy has been subject to criticism, particularly from mainstream groups, and has resulted in a large number of new religious groups being active in Estmere, such as the Church of the Singularity and, historically, the Faith Militant of the Crimson Emperor, which was involved in human trafficking until a crackdown in the 1990s.
Largest cities, by urban area, in Estmere
2015 Estmerish census
The provision of education is considered to be a matter for the individual states, but there is a common framework which is overseen by the Department of Education and Youth Affairs. Preschool is optional and available for children from ages three to six. These institutions are generally nursuries or kindergartens, and are free in some states. Education in Estmere is universal and compulsory for all children from ages six to sixteen nationwide. In the majority of states, it is mandatory for children to remain in education or vocational training until they achieve at least a high school level qualification or reach the age of eighteen.
The first five years of education are provided by primary schools, which are consistent for all children. The next five years of secondary education is divided into academic and vocational tracks, and is provided either by secondary schools or technical schools respectively. The degree of separation between the two tracks and the possibility of switching between them varies based on the state, with some states also having comprehensive schools which provide both academic and vocational tracks. Post-16 education is generally served by colleges for the academic track, with most technical schools offering courses for students aged sixteen to eighteen.
Private schools also exist in Estmere. In some states, they are exempt from taxation and have an obligation to take on a certain number of non-fee paying students. A high number of private schools are religious, as state governments are forbidden from financing religious schools. Private schools have been criticised for being exclusionary, for exacerbating class divisions in society and for redirecting funding away from state schools.
Estmere is home to a number of universities, which are well-regarded. In particular, the Molbridge univerities (Damesbridge, Tolbury, Morwall) are considered world-leading, and continually lead global league tables. Institutions such as the Harbrough and St Richards are also well-regarded. There are also the polytechnic institutes, such as MCT, which offer higher level vocational education. Tuition fees for Estmerish univeristies vary based on the state, though there is a federal cap of €3,500 a year for domestic students, and some states offer free tertiary education for residents. Estmere has a high number of international students, whose tuition fees are uncapped.
Music is considered an important part of Estmerish culture, and a variety of genres are popular in the country. Folk music played an important role in the early culture of Estmere, and has experienced a recent revival. It can be broadly divided by language; Flurian and Swathish having the oldest folk music, while Estmerish language folk music is more recent, though draws on the traditions of both. Estmere also became a centre of classical music, producing a number of renowned composers such as Robert Adams, Oliver Sutton and Joshua Holmes. Estmere is home to many famed orchestras, most notably the Damesbridge Symphony Chorus. Estmere has also produced a number of prominent composers of musical theatre, with Albert Lucas Winson and Louis Matthew Montgomery both considered to be the most important composers in Estmerish theatre.
Blues emerged starting in the 1870s, following on the traditions of the Asterian mainland, in the Estmerish possessions of St Roberts and Fleming and the Estmerish Arucian islands where there were large populations of Bahian descent. It made its way to the Estmerish metropole primarily through Freemen who attended Estmerish universities. Small numbers of Freemen remained in Estmere, which led to the emergence of Jazz in the 1920s. It was not until the exile of prominent talented Gaullican avent-garde jazz musicians, however, that Jazz became mainstream in Estmere. Jazz declined in the immediate post-war period, as it gave way to rock music.
Estmere is considered pivotal in the development of rock music, with Estmerish artists pioneering a number of subgenres, such as Regent and art rock, Johnny Starling and glam rock, and Brünette and new wave. Punk rock and progressive rock were pioneered by Estmerish acts such as Outbreak and Down in the mid-1970s, but by the end of the decade these artists had lost ground to Weranian acts and the emerging new synth wave genre. Dubstep was developed by Estmerish artists such as Skumbag and Jo Smith. Emo also originated from Estmerish acts, such as Doozie and Firestarter.
More recently, grime and its derivatives have emerged from inner-city Morwall as a major musical genre, with a number of artists in that genre such as Crazzee Madman, Gustzy, Suspa and Koyote originating in Estmere.
The country has participated in every iteration of the Euclovision Song Contest since its inception in 1959, and has won the contest on four non-consecutive occasions. The most notable Estmerish victor of Euclovision was What?, who won the contest in 1965 with their song Talkin' Bout, which went on to become a hit, while the other victories were Rock the Casbah by Outbreak in 1984, and Through It All by Tommy Sheridan in 1998. The most recent victory was Sweet Talker performed by Nico Lumineux in 2022. Estmere hosted the event as the victor of previous contests in 1966, 1985 and 1999, and in 2006 on behalf of Satavia. Estmere has hosted every contest but one in Morwall, with the 1985 contest being hosted in Harbrough. The next contest, in 2023, will also be hosted in Estmere, in the city of St Avelines.
Estmere continues to produce a number of popular musical acts, with YBRV, Briony Hampton, Just Tell Me, Vivi, Desert Apes, Radioactive Teddy Bear, Safe Place, Single Ladies, Pick n Mix, The Black Parade, The Brightsides, Party on the Moon, Mist, Baba Baba, Emme ZMX, Nico Lumineux, Ella of the Roses, Demrah and Anna Harrington all being prominent examples. These acts are considered pioneering in their genres, and most have large international followings. Estmere is a major exporter of music as a result, especially pop punk, electropop and pop rap. In spite of this, since the 1980s there has also been increasing prominence given to Gaullican music. Estmere continues to hold an important place in the musical world, however, and continues to attract innovation. Most recently, it has been home to the emergence of bedroom pop, lo-fi pop music where artists record in their own home, sometimes eschewing the help of big publishers, though often aided by streaming services like Phonosphere. Edd Remmington and true colours are two of the most notable Estmerish artists considered to perform bedroom pop.
Estmerish cuisine emerged under a number of influences, and exhibits a great deal of regional differences. The temperate oceanic climate which covers the majority of the country has given rise to a cuisine with an emphasis on a variety of different meats and vegetables, while the Aventine climate of the country's north impacted the cuisine of the Estmerish Neeves. Estmerish cuisine shares strong similarities with that of other north Euclean countries such as Werania and Valduvia, but has also been shaped by the legacy of the Estmerish Empire, and by the Verique norms brought over during the Conquest of Estmere.
A key difference between Estmerish and other nothern cuisines has been the continued and increasing use of exotic spices. These were first introduced by the Verique in the 1000s, but the availability of spices was greatly enhanced by the expansion of Estmere's empire into Satria, most notably Padaratha. Curry powder and garam masala are two blends of spices that are commonly used in Estmerish cuisine.
Estmerish dishes tend to be high in fat and salt content. The advent of meat mass production in the 1950s is partially responsible for this, and led to an increase in meat consumption in Estmere. To this day, pork is the most consumed meat, with poultry and beef following closely behind. Gravy is considered a staple of Estmerish cuisine, and is served in a wide range of dishes, such as gravy and chips. Pickled vegetables, most notably sourcole, are common ingredients in Estmerish dishes. These ingredients feature prominently in the Sunday lunch, a well-known Estmerish dishe which is comprised of red or white meat, a selection of vegetables (some of them pickled), Tolbury puddings, stuffing and gravy. Sausages are common in Estmerish cuisine; hot dogs are considered a staple of Neevan and working class Estmerish cuisine in particular.
Sea food features in Estmerish cuisine, most notably in fish and chips, but fish is only the fourth most common source of protein in the country. Eels have historically been plentiful in Estmerish rivers and despite having seen their populations drop drastically, they are still widely eaten, usually jellied, battered or smoked.
As a result of the legacy of empire, and immigration into Estmere, a number of fusion dishes are common to the Estmerish palate. These include tikka masala and curry dogs which draw from both the Estmerish and Satrian culinary traditions, and jerked meats which draw on the Estmerish-speaking Arucian culinary tradition. These dishes are sometimes pointed to as an example of the multiculturalism of modern-day Estmere. Examples also include Shangean restaurants, Dezevauni ganomes and Senrian sushi restaurants.
Estmere is also known for confectionary products such as chocolate and sweets. The largest confectionary company in the world, Haberlin's, is based in the city of Morwall, having been founded in Tolbury. Historically, chocolate from Estmere has been seen as mass-produced and generic, but affordable. A few Estmerish chocolates are now considered luxurious, but the perception of ordinariness remains.
Tea, coffee and hot chocolate have been popular hot drinks in Estmere since their introduction in the 17th century, and all three are widely consumed. Alcohol is important to Estmerish culture, and the country has a thriving beer industry. Historically there has been periods when alcohol consumption was prohibited, which led to the proliferation of speakeasies and the continuing popularity of cocktails and hard spirits such as whisky, most notably moonshine and Swatch whisky, and gin. Estmerish beers tend to be pale lagers, alongside wheat beers and schafners. Cider is also popular, particular in the west of the country. Estmere is home to a number of well-known wine regions, the majority of which stretch across the south, in the states of Evre and Arvorne. Estmerish wines are largely known for being inexpensive, up to and including allegations of being imitation wines.
Estmere is home to a diverse media landscape, with a high level of press freedom. There are a number of prominent newspapers in Estmere, divided into "low-brow" tabloids and "high-brow" broadsheets. The highest-circulation broadsheets in Estmere are the centre-right newspaper of record Standard, the centre-left Chartist and the business-focused Economic Review. The highest-circulation tabloids, meanwhile, are the populist Express, right-wing Daily Times and the left-wing Red Sunday. Newspaper circulation has declined heavily since the turn of the century, with newspaper sales having fallen by 25% since 2000.
The Estmerish media sector is centred mostly in Redwoods area of the Morwall Borough of Darford. Redwoods is home to the headquarters of a number of major media companies, including EBS. Morwall is a major media centre, but other sizable cities for the industry include Harbrough and Bouley. Swathish-language broadcasting is centred in Tolbury, with broadcasting in is Flurian centred in St Avelines.
Estmere's public broadcasting is largely handled by the Estmerish Broadcasting Service, commonly known as EBS, which was founded in 1925 and operates radio, television and internet broadcasting. It is responsible for three major television channels (EBS 1, EBS 2 and EBS Extra), which are publicly-funded and do not run advertisements. EBS is one of the largest and oldest public broadcasters in continuous operation. Estmere is also home to a number of other major broadcasters, most notably NITV and the Duhamel Broadcasting Division, both of which are distinct from EBS as they are private companies.
In line with the status of Swathish and Flurian as national languages, it is a legal requirement for national broadcasting companies to provide either suitable subtitles and dubbing in the national languages or distinct channels for 60% of broadcasted content. This also extends to accessibility access, with having Estmerish Sign Language interpreters and Estmerish-language subtitles also being a legal requirement for the same percentage of broadcasted content. EBS Svạþiṡc, EBS Fleuvais, NITV d'Estme and NITV Swerdia are the largest channels to broadcast exclusively in Swathish or Flurian.
The most prominent national symbol of Estmere is the flag of Estmere. It is known commonly as St Richard's Cross or as the Black and White. The flag emerged in the Amendist Reaction, and was considered an unofficial national flag alongside the official Royal Standard, which included the Sunburst White Rose, a royal symbol. St Richard's Cross was first adopted as an official flag in 1801, defaced with the new Sunburst Red-White Rose, a symbol of the union of Estmere with Borland. A defaced version of the flag featuring a sword was used by the Estmerish resistance during the Great War, and the Burning Rose was removed from the flag altogether after the abolition of the monarchy in 1936. The official Estmerish coat of arms was designed in 1937, and feature a black phoenix on a white background with a black border.
Black and white are considered to be the national colours of Estmere. Dark green is also sometimes considered another national colour, albeit an archaic one with connotations of royalism.
Estmere has two official national songs. The first - considered the official national anthem - is There'll Always Be an Estmere, which originates as a resistance song during the Great War. It was made the official anthem in 1938, replacing God Save The King. It exists alongside And did those feet in ancient time, which is the official national hymn. The national motto is "Resurgere velut phoenicem", which is Solarian for "Rise like the Phoenix".
Mother Estmere, a young woman usually dressed in a black and white gown, is the national personification of Estmere. This general personification has also been known by the name Albannica, the name of the Solarian province, and Andrasta, an ancient Alban leader. Saint Richard, the patron saint of Estmere, has also been seen as a personification of Estmere, particularly historically.
Estmere has two co-official national animals. The phoenix was the sole official national animal from 1938 until 1965, adopted in the aftermath of the Great War as a symbol of the resurrection of Estmerish nationhood following the occupation of Estmere. The stag was considered the main national animal prior to this, and was heavily associated with the Estmerish monarchy; hence the attempt to move from the stag to the phoenix. The stag nevertheless remained a prominent national symbol even while unofficial, and so in 1965 the Estmerish government declared that the stag and phoenix were co-official as national animals.
The coat of arms of Estmere
Public holidays celebrated in Estmere are a mix of religious, cultural, national and regional observances. There are also two types of public holiday in Estmere; statutory holidays for which employees are entitled to time off work, and non-statutory for which employees are not. For statutory holidays, if the holiday falls on a weekend day then the time off is pushed to a compensation day on Monday.
The majority of public holidays in Estmere are determined by individual states, but there are 9 statutory holidays which are federally recognised and celebrated throughout the Commonwealth annually. 5 of these are Sotirian religious holidays (Good Friday, Easter Monday, Nativity Eve, Nativity Day and Saint Stephen's Day), while two celebrate the start and end of the year (New Year's Eve and Day) and one is cultural (Labour Day). The last statutory federal holiday is Fighting Day, which commemorates Fighting Estmere's decision to refuse a separate peace during the Great War, and is considered the national day.
Sotirian holidays such as Epiphany and All Saint's Eve which are not recognised federally are nevertheless recognised and celebrated in every state, while other days on the Sotirian liturgical calendar such as All Saints' Day and Whit Sunday are celebrated in the majority of states. The only non-Sotirian religious holiday is Dhena Zebiu Nomo, a Badist celebration recognised only in the state of Kingsport, but in some states people of a non-Sotirian faith are entitled to a compensation day falling on other religious holidays, such as Chanukah, Diwali or Eid al-Fitr. Women's Day is celebrated in a number of states. A number of states also have days celebrating their regional identity or important local events, such as St Edward's Day in Swerdia and Emancipation Day in St Roberts and Fleming.
In addition, the date of any federal election or referendum is considered a statutory public holiday.
|New Year's Day||1 January|
|Labour Day||1 May|
|Fighting Day||5 November|
|Nativity Eve||24 December|
|Nativity Day||25 December|
|Saint Stephen's Day||26 December|
|New Year's Eve||31 December|