The name Jeremiah Heaton may sound vaguely familiar to residents of his home state Virginia, where in 2012 he ran a failed campaign for congress. But Jeremiah Heaton is also about to become a rather well known man in Africa as the self-proclaimed leader of the Kingdom of North Sudan.
His journey to royalty began at his daughter Emily’s 6th birthday party. When asked what she’d like for her 7th birthday, the precocious youth wished to become a princess. Many parents would see this as a ludicrous desire bred by fairy tales and Walt Disney, but Jeremiah was not to be swayed. Within a year, he had delivered on his promise.
He did his research, found some unclaimed land, then traveled through the Egyptian desert to plant the family’s flag. This somewhat amateur declaration made her a princess. Although it’s been overlooked by many reporting on the event, it also made him a King.
The Kingdom of North Sudan is an 800 square mile slice of desert close to the Sudanese border. Heaton told The Washington Post that he believes his claim 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.”
The Bristol Herald featured a statement from Sheila Carapico, Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Richmond. She says, Heaton’s first steps to legal sovereignty will be getting Egypt and Sudan on board. “It’s not plausible for someone to plant a flag and say they have political control over the land without legal recognition from neighboring countries, the United Nations or other groups. In addition, she said, it’s not known whether people have ownership of the land, regardless of whether the property is part of a political nation.”
At the time of writing the United Nations Headquarters remained silent on the matter, while Jeremiah Heaton continues to promote his somewhat misguided attempt at leadership and fatherhood.
(Photo courtesy of Ed Uthman)