Jeremiah Heaton journeyed from his home in Abingdon, Va., to a region called Bir Tawil and renamed it the "Kingdom of North Sudan."
On his daughter Emily's seventh birthday, Heaton planted his own flag on the 800-square-mile piece of desert and named her princess.
"As a parent you sometimes go down paths you never thought you would," Heaton told The Washington Post. "I wanted to show my kids I will literally go to the ends of the earth to make their wishes and dreams come true."
Since Heaton claimed the land, the 7-year-old has been asking family members to refer to her as Princess Emily.
Heaton hopes that the country will be formally recognized by other African countries and the United Nations.
"I feel confident in the claim we've made," Heaton told the Bristol Herald Courier. "That's the exact same process that has been done for thousands of years. The exception is this nation was claimed for love."