Press Release: Isle Of Palms Residents To “Declare Independence” From South Carolina And Form “The Palm Republic” To Protest Illegal State Action

Press Release for Island Eye News

Today, dozens of residents of Isle of Palms announced their intention to declare independence from the state of South Carolina and establish the free “Palm Republic.” Modeled after the Conch Republic, formerly known as the Florida Keys, the Palm Republic will exist as a free and sovereign republic that re-establishes Home Rule, which was unilaterally and illegally stripped from the Isle of Palms upon the passage of S. 40 in 2021. 

It all began when a small radical group opposed the Governor’s decision to close the beaches during the first COVID outbreak in 2020. This group demanded that it was their right to go to the beach regardless of the Governor’s order. To pander to those voters, Senator Larry Grooms blamed the Isle of Palms and wrote the bill known as S.40 which legislators passed into law in June of 2020 stripping the Isle of Palms of its self-governing authority. Apparently, Senator Grooms was not aware of the State Constitution. On the heels of this small group’s “outrage,” 

SCDOT Secretary Christy Hall, whose agency is overseen by Senator Grooms, visited the Isle of Palms in February of 2020 and claimed she was offended that city officials had not shown her the proper respect. She threatened the island with retribution in order to exert her “authority.” Shortly thereafter, she ordered SCDOT to remove the emergency lane on the Isle of Palms connector and dramatically altered the angle of parking spots on the island. In the ensuing 12 months, accidents doubled on the connector.

By law/per the constitution, every municipality in South Carolina is granted “Home Rule,” which states that the South Carolina legislature cannot take any action against said municipality without their consent. Last year, state legislators, led by Senator Larry Grooms, passed S. 40, stripping the Isle of Palms and three other beach communities of their constitutionally-guaranteed right to Home Rule to make their own decisions for their community.

While this tongue-in-cheek protest will have no binding legal authority, the founding fathers and mothers of the Palm Republic hope to highlight the tyrannical and unconstitutional actions taken by state legislators, the Secretary of the Department of Transportation, and the governor stripping the Isle of Palms of its basic rights to govern itself. The patriots of the Palm Republic are fun-loving people and include humor and drink in dealing with a very serious violation of their constitutionally guaranteed right to govern our Island. 

Other objectives of the Palm Republic include:

  • Repealing S. 40
  • Defeating the politicians responsible for writing and passing S. 40
  • Promoting the Isle of Palms nationally 

The signing of the Declaration of Independence for the Palm Republic will take place on Friday, May 13th on the back deck stage of the Windjammer on the Isle of Palms at 5pm. Currently there are over two dozen residents, or founding fathers and mothers, who intend to sign the Declaration of Independence. Signers will be dawning revolutionary-era regalia including powdered wigs and 18th-century clothing. There will be a celebration with live music after the signing ceremony. The public is encouraged to attend and participate in the festivities. 

Jimmy Carroll, the former mayor of the Isle of Palms, will serve as His High-ness, The Grand Potentate of All That is Salty, His Excellency, The Right Reverend.

“This is about our legislature overstepping their authority to pander for votes,” said former mayor Carroll. “In doing so, they have violated the state constitution and the rule of law.  If this is allowed to stand, the door is wide open for state senators to do the same thing statewide.  They will take away our constitutional rights to buy the votes of small but outspoken radical groups.  Behind closed doors, our politicians laugh at the Constitution and will do whatever it takes to stay in power.”

Blair Hahn, current City Council member of the Isle of Palms, will serve as attorney general, also known as His Beaudacious Highness, Admiral and Grand Ruler of All Seas Less than 1 Fathom.

“I cannot state strongly enough the gravity of the violations of our Constitution and Rule of Law by the powers that be in Columbia,” said City Councilman Hahn. “We are establishing the Palm Republic to stand up  to politicians in Columbia and take back our Constitutionally-guaranteed rights.” 

The legendary Windjammer, located on Ocean Boulevard, will serve as the Capitol Building of the Palm Republic. 

Similarly to the Conch Republic, passports will be sold that give discounts at local businesses and Palm Republic merchandise will be available for purchase. 

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