Jeremiah Heaton, a Virginia father of three, traveled to Africa and “claimed” 800-square miles of land known as Bir Tawil to be his young daughter’s kingdom.

Jeremiah Heaton Claimed Bir Tawil

Almost one year ago, Heaton’s daughter, Emily Heaton, now 7, asked her father if she would ever be a real princess, sending Heaton on a search for unclaimed land. In his search, Heaton found Bir Tawil, a small region of desert between Egypt and Sudan that is, in theory, unclaimed.

On June 16, Heaton traveled to Bir Tawil with a blue flag designed by his children and planted it on the territory, declaring it the “Kingdom of North Sudan.”

“Over the years a few arm-chair explorers have attempted to ‘claim’ Bir Tawil by simply writing a blog entry or creating a website. These half-hearted, illegitimate claims have not been recognized by any government.


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“Today, with the full support of the Egyptian government, I traveled 14 hours through the open desert to reach Bir Tawil. Once in the Bir Tawil region, I planted a flag, designed by my children and made a physical claim on the land,” Heaton wrote on Facebook.

Heaton first arrived in Egypt and traveled via caravan to Bir Tawil, and he plans on reaching out to Egypt and Sudan as the Kingdom of North Sudan to try to establish an actual territory.

“It’s beautiful there. It’s an arid desert in Northeastern Africa. Bedouins roam the area; the population is actually zero,” Heaton said.

Princess Emily Of The Kingdom Of North Sudan

When Heaton returned home, he declared his daughter Princess Emily, and presented her with a tiara she now wears constantly. After speaking about what they wanted their new Kingdom to be, Heaton says his daughter wanted to make sure the people living in the surrounding areas had enough food to eat, and so he has decided to devote the “Kingdom of North Sudan” to agricultural production.

“That’s definitely a concern in that part of the world. We discussed what we could do as a nation to help,” Heaton explained.

Before Heaton can get started, he will have to receive recognition from Sudan and Egypt, not to mention the UN and other countries. Heaton’s claim on the land is tentative at best, but Heaton is confident that he can make the “Kingdom of North Sudan” a reality.

I feel confident in the claim we’ve made. That’s the exact same process that has been done for thousands of years. The exception is this nation was claimed for love,” Heaton said.

According to Heaton, Princess Emily and her brothers, Justin and Caleb, are all excited about the idea of building a nation – designing the flag and the country’s seal. And Heaton is adamant that the mission of the “Kingdom of North Sudan” will be one of charity.

Other than the goal of helping the people of the surrounding region, Heaton confessed that his main goal in creating the “Kingdom of North Sudan” was to show his children that he will “literally go to the ends of the earth to make their wishes and dreams come true.”

“I think there’s a lot of love in the world. I want my children to know I will do absolutely anything for them,” Heaton said.


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