Free Country, USA

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File:freecountryusa.png
The sweet, sweet rainbow bridge to Free Country, USA
The Thriving Hub that is Free Country, USA

Free Country, USA, is where the Homestar Runner Universe is centered. All of the main characters live, work, and play here.

Contents

Geographical Features and Locations

Free Country, USA, features a verdant field that typically serves as a central link between the various features of the landscape. At the center of the field itself is The Stick, which functions as a landmark and a meeting place for Strong Bad and whomever he chooses to meet there. The edge of the field is lined with what appear to be trees, although the case could also be made that they are hills. Regardless, these round, green mounds represent the edge of Free Country, as characters are rarely seen in a forest and never on hilltops. Rounding out the natural features are mountains (usually seen only from a distance), and a pond with a wharf.

Specific locations in Free Country are treated with a certain ambiguity. Somewhere at the edge of The Field is the Athletic Field; logically, Coach Z's locker room is near the Athletic Field. Somewhere near the Athletic Field is Bubs' Concession Stand. Other locations include a "Town Hall" (discussed later) and the Marshmallow Stand, a once-popular haunt for Homestar that has not been seen in a while but is presumably still around somewhere.

Characters' Homes

As with Free Country's locations, the homes of different characters do not exist in rigidly established locations. With the exception of Coach Z's locker room and The Cheat's home (which is also the King of Town's grill and therefore always near the King of Town's castle), Marzipan's house, Homestar's house, and the house of the Brothers Strong, as well as the King's castle itself, are all found in locations that have no clear geographical relation to each other.

Flora and Fauna

The flora of the land is somewhat sparse. Though individual trees are seldom seen up close in Free Country, they are presented as being deciduous as opposed to evergreen, evidenced by the barren branches seen during Free Country's autumn. Shrubs and the occasional bush make appearences from time to time; some bushes have been known to have Senor Cardgage emerge from them in some instances, though these events are not considered dangerous so much as they are creepy.

Fauna is in even shorter supply. Save for the fish in the pond, a few crickets, at least one fly, cockroach, and stag beetle, Free Country USA is largely free of animal life besides the characters themselves.

Politics

Free Country appears at first glance to be a monarchy, since it is nominally ruled by The King of Town. However, the self-conferred sovereign's reign is not recognized by the populace. Therefore, Free Country could be considered to be in a state of anarchy, where there is no accepted centralized government but the members of the community co-exist with loosely established rules that maintain order.

To this end, Free Country can muster a meager police force to ensure that anyone engaged in criminal behavior (to date, only Strong Bad and The Cheat) are placed firmly in jail (a large cardboard box). Since there is no need for an army (nor a government to stand one up), Free Country has no official military. But it is home to the Homestarmy, a militia which has intervened in the politics of Strongbadia but appears to represent no cohesive political movement (other than expressing discontent stemming from "playing second fiddle to a two-bit wrestleman and his yellow dog").

Besides the King's castle (which would be the seat of government if the King's rule had any legitimacy), there seems to be a "Town Hall" of sorts, which has been used for various purposes, including a newsroom, police station, and a set for the Dangeresque films, though not for actual political administration.

Strongbadia

Within Free Country's borders, the territory of Strongbadia exists as an autonomous enclave. Strongbadia has a flag, a national anthem, and has even had to defend its autonomy from outside aggression (as seen in army). Whether or not Strongbadia is a "real" country is open to debate, since the permanent population of Strongbadia is a tire.

A Map of Free Country's Close Neighbors

Other Territories

Mentioned from time to time (and seen only via the depicted map) are other territories outside Free Country. If the circuitous path of Homestar's journey to Potamia for the Yello Dello is to be believed, Free Country borders the territory of Far Off Lands. Very little, if anything, is known about these territories or their relation to Free Country, although, Prance is known to make at least one Homestar Runner related product.

Economics

The economics of Free Country are as ambiguous as the locations and politics of the territory. The local currency is U.S. dollars, althought the official currency is augmented by a strong barter system that allows trade of goods and services; most local commerce occurs at Bubs' Concession Stand. Though their use has not been seen recently, pencil shavings (as shown in lackey) were accepted as currency at one time.

Employment

Bubs works at his stand and as a general fix-it man. Homestar, Strong Bad, and The Cheat work in some kind of an office, at least occasionally. Coach Z is presumably some kind of a coach. The King of Town employs The Poopsmith for reasons he does not care to disclose. It has not been revealed whether the remaining characters have jobs.

Free Country Through Time

In the 1930s, Free Country was characterized by dirt roads, picket fences, carnival tents, antiquated Industrial Revolution-era factories and even a graveyard, none of which have survived the passage of time. Commerce, such as it was, was located at a dilapadated depot. As with the rest of the USA during this time period, Free Country was economically depressed, with the population being forced to subsist on dry meal, water soup, and parsnips, and the occasional nip of hooch.

In the futuristic year 20X6, Free Country may or may not be one and the same as Planet K, which looks much like the current Free Country. If so, Free Country will grow to feature significantly more architecture, to the extent of having a full city (a quality the territory currently lacks).

Estimated Real-World Location

Viewers of Homestar Runner have variously speculated about the "real" location of Free Country, USA, though it can be safely assumed The Brothers Chaps prefer to leave its location undetermined. The following collected observations may be used to interpret the "real" location of the territory.

  • In the email "radio," the CGNU radio station's call letters are given as WSBD. Real-world radio designations would place Free Country east of the Mississippi river.
  • Free Country is likely in a northern latitude or high altitude given the snowy weather around Decemberween.
  • In the email anything, Homestar refers to his two liter bottle of Mountain Dew as "soda" which is a term more used in the north-east and in the west. In the mid-west it is frequently called "pop."
  • The scene in the Theme Song Video where Homestar runs around the planet would lead one to believe that it's possible that Free Country is somewhere in northern Nebraska.
  • The Brothers Chaps themselves live in Atlanta, Georgia, making it possible that Free Country is located in the Southeast.
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