Garfield flagJust days ago, a U.S. father gave some true weight to the words "daddy's little princess." "Within months, [Jeremiah] Heaton was journeying through the desolate southern stretches of Egypt and into an unclaimed 800-square-mile patch of arid desert," The Washington Post reports. "There, on June 16 -- Emily’s seventh birthday -- he planted a blue flag with four stars and a crown on a rocky hill."

Can You Claim Land Just By Putting A Flag There?
Heaton seems to think so and insists his claim on the stretch of land, which he's calling the Kingdom of North Sudan, is legitimate. The father cites historical precedence as the main reason for his claim. According to Heaton, his conquest ought to count because the English also claimed America by sticking a flag in the ground (and the list of historical examples goes on and on). "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," The Washington Post continues.

She May Not Be a Princess Much Longer
Before you strike out with your Garfield flag to claim a country, experts warn that you may want to consider the practicalities of the situation. According to Vox Media, Heaton's claim doesn't hold much weight. Although seizing land with licensed flags does have an extensive history, Vox argues that Heaton's lack of colonists and his lack of desire to actually live in the Kingdom of North Sudan make his stake in the land pretty ridiculous. In other words, unless you plan to permanently relocate, you may want to keep garden flags or house flags on the flagpole on your lawn. If you really want to get political about it, choose white flags to symbolize honesty and peace, or red flags to designate strength and valor.

The Romans first used flags to communicate -- and, from there, nations have used flags as quick and dirty means of seizing land. That does not mean it is time to find some obscure land to claim with your Garfield flag. For your own sanity -- remember -- Heaton's situation is a legal mess.