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Home Utopias In The News The Kingdom of North Sudan

The Kingdom of North Sudan

A man from Virginia promised his daughter she'd be a princess someday.   To follow through with his promise, a flag was made and a drive through the desert was planned...

Under the concept of "Terra Nullius", hopeful politician Jeremiah Heaton searched for areas of the globe not officially claimed by any nation.  Finding a chunk of land along the border between Egypt and Sudan, Heaton's family designed a flag and on June 16th he rode through the desert, found a place to stick his flag, and declared himself regent and ruler of the Kingdom of North Sudan.

The area, known as Bir Tawil, is a flaw in boundary lines drawn in 1899 and 1902. Both Egypt and Sudan want to claim a disputed area to the west -- but by both wanting the overlapping part of the map, Bir Tawil -- the non-overlapping portion of the map -- gets left out as the unwanted zone.

The article points out the big sticking-point for any burgeoning micronation: in order to be a nation, other nations have to admit you're a really-real, self-governing nation.  Simply planting a flag isn't enough: usually, you need laws and a structure of self-rule, and some sort of means of sustenance.

The other missing portion of the problem is the nature of Bir Tawil's existence:  if the two countries ever decide which border is vaild, or chooses to simply draw their own border, Bir Tawil is going to either Egypt or Sudan, there's no question of it.   Becoming a true state isn't just getting a letter from Canada saying they agree to trade with the nation of Newnationia.   When somebody with guns shows up at your door with the intent of taking the land for themselves, you need to have an army of your own capable of repelling invaders.

But, fortunately for Mr. Heaton, it sounds like planting his flag is about as far as he intends to go with his nation.   Heaton points out that when other nations have raised their flags of independence, war followed: his flag-planting being an act of love won't do much to repel a nation rife with genocide if the lines get redrawn to put Bir Tawil within Sudan's borders.  However, if he keeps his head down, not drawing attention to his claim, making economic improvements as the end of the article claimed, he might gain autonomy the same way the oldest nations were born: by simply existing long enough that nobody thought to crush their government and take over.