A Dad Travelled to a Far-Away Land to Plant a Flag and Declare his Daughter a Real Princess of a New Kingdom
Usually, I think parents who do this kind of stuff are spoiling their kids, but I have to admit, this story is kind of charming. Jeremiah Heaton went to some incredibly extraordinary lengths to show his daughter how much she means to him.
From the Washington Post:
Jeremiah Heaton was playing with his daughter in their Abingdon, Va., home last winter when she asked whether she could be a real princess.
Heaton, a father of three who works in the mining industry, didn’t want to make any false promises to Emily, then 6, who was “big on being a princess.” But he still said yes.
“As a parent you sometimes go down paths you never thought you would,” Heaton said.
Within months, Heaton was journeying through the desolate southern stretches of Egypt and into an unclaimed 800-square-mile patch of arid desert. There, on June 16 — Emily’s seventh birthday — he planted a blue flag with four stars and a crown on a rocky hill. The area, a sandy expanse sitting along the Sudanese border, morphed from what locals call Bir Tawil into what Heaton and his family call the “Kingdom of North Sudan.”
There, Heaton is the self-described king and Emily is his princess.*
“I wanted to show my kids I will literally go to the ends of the earth to make their wishes and dreams come true,” Heaton said.
Wow. Now that’s a dad that takes his promises seriously! The flag of his new kingdom is designed by his children, and when arguing that his claim over Bir Tawil is legitimate, he says that other states established by the planting of a flag were done as acts of war.
“I founded the nation in love for my daughter,” Heaton said.
After he promised his daughter that she could be a princess, Heaton began searching online for unclaimed land the world over. When focusing his search on the Latin term “terra nullius,” meaning “land belonging to no one,” Heaton stumbled across information on Bir Tawil. He said a border dispute between Sudan and Egypt left the land as unclaimed territory, about halfway between where the Nile crosses into Sudan and Egypt’s coast along the Red Sea.
This research led Heaton to seek permission from Egyptian authorities to travel to the remote, unpopulated plot of sand, explaining his cause.
Awww…. I hope Princeses Emily Heaton of the newly established Kingdom of North Sudan doesn’t let it go to her head. Also, couldn’t they have thought of something cooler than “North Sudan?”