American Jeremy Heaton has claimed a piece of land between Egypt and Sudan for his daughter who wants to be a princess.
Mr Heaton told BBC Radio 5 live that he had travelled from Virginia with his flag to proclaim the area the “Kingdom of North Sudan”. The area is 800 square miles of arid desert and doesn’t belong to any country. He says he has put official requests in with Egypt and Sudan but, as yet, neither have responded.
Mr Heaton said his daughter, Emily, had asked “if one day she would be a princess”.
“Being a father, I knew she was serious in her request,” he said. “I researched pieces of land that were unclaimed and was fortunate to discover it.” A territorial dispute between the two countries means the land is one of the last unclaimed areas on earth.
To celebrate her seventh birthday he made the journey to what locals call Bir Tawil to make Emily’s “dreams come true”.
On June 16, he planted the flag his daughter had designed in the ground and insists his claim is legitimate. He argues that over the years many countries, including the United States, were claimed by the simple act of planting a flag.
The difference, he says, is that they were usually acts of war, but in this case he “founded the nation in love for my daughter”.
Mr Heaton says he’ll reach out to the African Union for support.