A man has claimed a piece of land and is making it into a country for one specific reason. According to the Telegraph, he wants to make his 7-year-old daughter a princess. Jeremiah Heaton is a 37-year-old farmer in Virginia who will be King Jeremiah, and his daughter will be Princess Emily.
“I founded the nation in love for my daughter.”
The piece of land he picked out was unclaimed in “no man’s land” between Sudan and Egypt called Bir Tawil, according to his maps. He traveled there and planted a flag on the 800-square miles of arid desert on a rocky hill in the region last June 16, on Emily’s seventh birthday.
Heaton is a self-proclaimed king, which makes his daughter a real, live princess, with a legitimate kingdom and everything that goes along with the title.
The Daily Mail reported that Heaton contacted the Egyptian authorities, traveled 6,000 miles to claim the land by planting a flag on it that was designed by his family on the back of a place mat in a restaurant. He has since formally applied to the United Nations for observer entity status and set up an embassy in Denmark.
Jeremiah Heaton considers himself to be the legal owner of the small piece of land because no one else had claimed it. Now, he wants to raise $505 million to turn the Kingdom of North Sudan into an ecological utopia.
The piece of land Heaton lays claim to, known locally as Bir Tawil, has been subject to disputes between Egypt and Sudan for more than a century. Even so, it is understood to be unclaimed. Heaton says that by making a 14-hour caravan journey there through the desert and planting a flag, his claim is legitimate. He says his method was “exactly how several other countries, including what became the United States, were historically claimed.”
Heaton is serious about this project. He has created a page on crowdfunding website Indiegogo to raise $250,000 in initial funding, and a total of $505.5 million by 2020.
Those who invest in Heaton’s project will be rewarded. Investors will receive rewards ranging from a bumper sticker for a $15 commitment to sponsoring a hospital, including full naming rights, for $2,500,000. For $1,750,000, you can name the country’s capital city. The page has so far raised $4,100, but there are only 42 days remaining for the campaign.
Shelia Carapico, professor of political science and international studies at the University of Richmond in Virginia, doesn’t agree at all with Heaton’s plans.
“It’s not plausible for someone to plant a flag and say they have political control over the land without legal recognition from neighboring countries, the United Nations, or other groups.”
Heaton is planning to seek legal recognition from his African neighbors, but there has been no word on the stances of the Sudanese or Egyptian governments.
What do you think about Heaton’s claim to the land, making himself king, and marking his daughter a princess?
[Image via Kingdom of North Sudan/Indiegogo]