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.
Sheila Carapico, professor of political science and international studies at the University of Richmond, told the Bristol Herald Courier last week that Heaton would need legal recognition from neighboring countries, the United Nations or other groups to have actual political control of the land.
Heaton, who ran for Congress out of Virginia’s 9th district in 2012 and lost, plans to reach out to the African Union for assistance in formally establishing the Kingdom of North Sudan and said that he is confident they will welcome him. Representatives from the Egyptian and Sudanese embassies in Washington did not respond to requests for comment Saturday.
Heaton says his claim over Bir Tawil is legitimate. He argues that planting the flag — which his children designed — is exactly how several other countries, including what became the United States, were historically claimed. The key difference, Heaton said, is that those historical cases of imperialism were acts of war while his was an act of love.
“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.
Hmmmm, a white guy wants to colonize Africa in the name of a princess? What is this 1820? Yea, this is gonna go over real well. This guy thinks he can go around occupying random pieces of desert in the Middle East and declaring independence? Where have I heard that before?
I mean, I guess the guy has a point though right? At least he actually asked permission first. That and there’s no one who actually lives there to imperialize and he is gonna have a tough time profiting off of it.
This is just another example of 21st century “cool parenting.” Our parents told us no all the time and we turned into wild savages. So logically you have to go to literally the ends of the earth to make sure that all of your children’s delusional fantasies become a reality. I mean remember last month when we wrote about that five year old girl in California whose parents helped her undergo a “gender reassignment” because she thought she was a boy? Instead of just saying, nope, you’re not a princess, or nope, you don’t have a penis, parents would rather just give their kids everything. Hey, it’s better then listening to them cry though right?
So the seven year old comes to her Daddy and asks if she can be a princess. He evaluates his choices:
a) Tell her she’ll always be Daddy’s little princess and get her a Burger King crown
b) Tell her this is a stupid idea and go read a book
c) Tell her she’s the princess of the garage or point to a star and tell her she’s the princess of that
d) Tell her her claims are legitimate, fly to Egypt and negotiate land claims
And he decided to go with D. SMH.
So I think we can all agree on one thing here – this girl will grow up to be the worst person who ever lived. You think American kids are entitled dooshnozzles who think everything gets handed to them NOW? Well, this Dad just kicked it up a notch. Some Daddy’s buy their overprivileged kids cars or quarries or nightclubs, but not even Paris Hilton’s parents thought to be her a country in Africa.
And God bless whoever this girl’s teacher is. Imagine what it’s like when this girl does’t get the grade she was hoping for on her spelling test? Think she’s not getting an A? LOL think again. This girl gets God damn countries, I’m pretty sure she can get a check plus if she puts her foot down. Because if this isn’t the face of pure evil:
then I don’t know what is. Personally I don’t trust any girl with this many stuffed animals:
Apparently this idiot let his royal children design the flag too, and this is what they came up with:
Cool flag. Fuck democracy right? Just put a crown on someone and make them the boss. I mean, even Kim Jung Un and every other dictator out there at least tries to mask their dictatorship with as many lies as possible – The People’s Democratic Republic of (fill in the blank).
If they wanted to make a more accurate flag it would be a picture of a kid staring at a cell phone while the parents throw
drugs prescription medication at them to shut them up.
And this whole female obsession with princesses needs to be addressed. We all grew up watching Disney movies where the princess’ only two jobs are to be pretty and ultimately get plowed by the protagonist. Ask any little girl what she wants to be when they grow up at age six, and half of them at least will say a princess.
It doesn’t end there though. Google “princess wedding dresses” and this is what you get:
If you’re engaged or married then you’ve probably had to sit through countless episodes of Say Yes to the Dress. Every woman in that show has the same common stated goal – to look like a princess.
Or take America’s obsession with whoever the hell the princess of England is. How many morons woke up early to watch Kate Middleton marry that lucky sperm with bad teeth? How many Americans were obsessed with Princess Di? And for what? What did they ever do besides nail the prince and look pretty?
Even in Nintendo we all grew up trying to save the princess. Newsflash hunny – Cinderella is dead. She’s been replaced by Dora the Explorer. You no longer have to be a damsel in distress waiting for a man to come along and save you. You can kick King Koopa’s ass yourself instead of waiting for a short mustachioed Italian man to show up.
I can’t wait for my nonexistent daughter to ask me about becoming a princess one day. I can’t wait to tell her she can move to the Middle East and marry a 65 year old man she’s never met. I’ll offer to make some calls to my oil magnates in Saudi Arabia and see if we can trade her virginity for fifteen goats. That should crush her dreams.
Oh yea, and newslfash little girl – being a princess is a shitload of pressure. What do you think a princess does all day when the prince is fighting the dragon? Sit on her thumbs and wait to make out with the victor? Negatory. The princess eventually becomes a queen, and the queen has to declare war on France, Spain, England or whoever is menacing the transatlantic spice trade. Do you have it in you to declare war on the Spanish Empire? Are you prepared to be beheaded if your army loses? Are you prepared to be overthrown by the next revolution that comes along? You wanna end up like the Archduke’s wife? Didn’t think so.
Here’s another problem – was this girl born in North Sudan? No? Did she marry into North Sudanese monarchy? No? So then she’s a usurper to the throne. Henry VIII invaded France, but at least he had a legitimate claim to the throne. This girl has no claim, and no mandate. She is Genghis Khan.
And what’s up with Daddy being king? What kind of bullshit present is that? That’s like buying your kid a big wheels for Christmas and then buying yourself a Mercedes. And her brother is a prince too? Is he older or younger? Who is next in line to the crown? What happens if Daddy dies? Will the country erupt into civil war if there is a dispute over succession to the throne?
When you think about it though, this whole thing could be a valuable life lesson for the girl. How better to learn about a part of the world that most Americans could give a shit less about then to own it and be the figurehead? Imagine the hilarious consequences of being wedged between two countries that just had “revolutions.” And since no one lives in this “country” then who will defend it? Hopefully Daddy plans on buying his princess a local militia. I’m sure these guys will be good enough to defend the Kingdom:
My solution is this – have the UN recognize them as a country. In doing so they formally renounce their citizenship and get sent to live in their crappy country which was unclaimed by anyone for obvious reasons. I’m sure they’ll be able to make tons of money off of all their sand. It can be used in hour glasses, indoor shot puts, and tons of other…stuff. And everyone knows Sudan is a really, really safe part of the world. It would be a real shame if this entire family was wiped out in a border conflict. Luckily that never, ever happens in Africa.
Feel free to share your thoughts to keep the conversation going.