After his daughter asked him if she'd ever be a real princess, a Virginia man tried to make it happen by planting a flag in an African country and claiming it as his own kingdom for her birthday.
According to the Washington Post, Abingdon, Va. resident Jeremiah Heaton located an "800-square-mile stretch of arid desert" that's he's calling his "kingdom." His daughter, Emily, is the princess:
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.
The Post notes that University of Richmond political science and international studies professor Sheila Carapico explained that Heaton would need legal approval from the United Nations or neighboring countries to have legitimate political control of the "Kingdom of North Sudan."
Heaton is convinced that his kingdom is already substantiated because he planted a flag (designed, adorably, by his children), which he says, according to history, is how other countries were claimed. Furthermore, he says he made this claim out of love, not war: "I founded the nation in love for my daughter," he told the Post.
Hopefully, other countries respect that, as well as his plan to make the "Kingdom of North Sudan" the agricultural center his children want it to be. But the question that no one is asking is what he's going to do for her birthday next year (and in subsequent years) to top this...
[via Washington Post]
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