Island Independence

Photo by Brian Sherman for Island Eye News

A raucous group of Isle of Palms residents and their enthusiastic supporters struck a blow for the concept of home rule on Friday, May 13 when they gathered on the deck of The Windjammer to officially establish The Palm Republic, an “independent nation” fashioned after the Conch Republic in Key West, Florida. The impetus behind its creation is S. 40, a piece of legislation passed by the SC State Legislature last year that gives the Department of Transportation the authority to decide where visitors to four Lowcountry beach communities – IOP, Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach and Edisto – can park on state-owned roads and how much, if anything, they’ll have to pay. 

The Palm Republic has two officials: current IOP Council Member Blair Hahn (center) is the attorney general, also known as His Beaudacious Highness, Admiral and Grand Ruler of All Seas Less than 1 Fathom, and former Mayor Jimmy Carroll (far right) – His High-ness, The Grand Potentate of All That is Salty, His Excellency, The Right Reverend. Hahn, center, reads the republic’s declaration of independence, flanked by State Rep. Joe Bustos (far left).

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