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Why Is Key West Called The Conch Republic?

Have you ever wondered why the Florida Keys are called the Conch Republic? I certainly wanted to know the nitty-gritty before heading to these famous islands.

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

 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

 

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