ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – The Palm Republic, a half joke/half business effort by former and current Isle of Palms leaders, officially signed a Declaration of Independence on Friday.

The Palm Republic’s forming is an effort to highlight frustrations by the group over 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.

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 with no island or resident input.

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 signing took place on the back deck of the Windjammer which has been declared the so-called capital of the Palm Republic.