Why Is Key West Called The Conch Republic?

The Florida Keys are one of the most beautiful best to visit if you’re looking for sunny beaches in the US, with amazing white sand and blue water, Key West and Key Largo are one of the most popular. But something you may not know is the fact that Key West is called the Conch Republic. Have you ever wondered why Key West is called the Conch Republic? or What is the Conch Republic? I certainly wanted to know the nitty-gritty before heading to these famous islands, and here’s the answer.

house boat on conch republic

Conch Republic History

  • It all started with the United States Border Patrol Blockade set up on highway U.S.1 at Florida City.

  • After representatives of the Keys traveled to Miami court and had their request to enjoin the border patrol, the mayor decided to secede.

  • The Conch Republic is a micronation declared as a tongue-in-cheek secession of the city of Key West, Florida from the United States on April 23, 1982. The Mayor read a proclamation declaring independence. He declared war to the US and in the same act he surrendered.

  • The blockade was removed shortly after.

  • In 1994, Joe & Meri-Lynn Britz wrote the National Anthem for the Conch Republic, “Conch Republic”

  • Conch Republic officials were invited to the Summit of the Americas in Miami in 1994, and Conch representatives were officially invited to 1995’s Florida Jubilee

  • On September 20, 1995, it was reported that the 478th Civil Affairs Battalion of the United States Army Reserve was to conduct a training exercise simulating an invasion of a foreign island. They were to land on Key West, but no one from the 478th notified Conch officials of the exercise. After a protest the 478th battalion apologized and surrendered.

  • In 2006, seizing upon the apparent disavowal of the abandoned span of the seven-mile bridge by the U.S., claimed it for the Republic. But the Florida government didn’t allow it, stating that the bridge belonged to the people of Florida.

  • In another protest, beginning in 2008, the northern keys including Key Largo formed a separation of the Conch Republic known as the Independent Northernmost Territories of the Conch Republic.

conch republic stores

Related Read: Stock Island Marina Village in Key West, FL: A Secret Vacation Rentals

 Fun Facts about Conch Republic/Key West

  • The term Conch Republic refers to the Florida Keys.

  • The US never objected to the secession.

  • The Conch Republic celebrates Independence Day every April 23.

  • The Conch Republic has an Army, Navy, and Air Force. They are in charge of duties like: to help re-enact the Great Sea Battle of 1982 and the retaking of Fort Jefferson.

  • Through their website, the Conch Republic issues souvenir passports.

Why the Florida Keys are Better Known as the Conch Republic

Last Updated on September 15, 2023

2 thoughts on “Why Is Key West Called The Conch Republic?

  1. Like Emme, I would have assumed it had to do with conch. Really interesting history I had no idea about! I’ve been hearing such great things about the Keys and would like to visit.

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