The move, headed by both former and current leaders on the Isle of Palms, including former mayor Jimmy Carroll, stems from changes to beach parking and other traffic-related issues by the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
“The Republic came to shake off the shackles of the Tyranny of this South Carolina State Government and reclaim our right to Home Rule through the use of public demonstration and illumination of the wrongs perpetrated on our fellow residents of this Great Island,” the group wrote on Facebook. “However, we are also a fun-loving people and include humor and drink in dealing with a very serious violation of our constitutionally guaranteed right to govern our Island.”
While organizers said becoming a republic would give the island self-governance, it would not include seceding from South Carolina.
“No, we did not, nor do we advocate seceding from SC or the USA. We are making a public statement to bring awareness to a very serious issue dealing with the eroding of our Constitutionally protected right,” organizers said on their Facebook group.
Carroll previously told News 2 the idea was inspired by The Conch Republic, when Key West, Florida declared itself a Republic from Florida in 1982.
He and current IOP City Councilman Blair Hahn are behind the effort believed to be half a joke and half an effort to bring attention to the city’s frustrations with the state’s changes to beach parking regulations.