ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – The Palm Republic, a half joke/half business effort by former and current Isle of Palms leaders signed a Declaration of Independence, declaring freedom from the State of South Carolina Friday.
The Palm Republic’s forming is an effort to voice frustrations by the group against changes made by the South Carolina Department of Transportation following the passage of S-40 , known as the beach parking bill in June of 2021. The group says the bill and state leaders violated the Home Rule Act with its passage.
Former Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll and current City Councilman Blair Hahn are heading up the effort and were joined by more than two dozen residents and leaders who participated in the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The signing was finished with a shot of rum which was sent to the group by the Conch Republic of Key West, who made a similar move in the 1980s.
In addition to the violation of the Home Rule Act, some of the groups largest frustrations stem from the restriping of the Isle of Palms Connector which removed the emergency lane. The group claims the move happened in the dark with no island or resident input.
The Palm Republic will act as a free and independent nation with it’s own Constitution and Declaration of Independence but is half joke and half business. The group is focused on bringing attention to the frustrations of residents and leaders following the changes by SCDOT.
The group says they hope to get the attention of state legislators and the Department of Transportation in hopes of them reversing the changes previously made.
In addition to standing up to state legislators, the group plans to hold parties, fundraisers and more to celebrate the island and support local businesses.
The declaration signing took place on the back deck of the Windjammer which has been declared the so-called capital of the Palm Republic.