30th Anniversary of the Conch Republic (April 23, 1982)

Conch Republic Customs Agent identification card

Conch Republic Customs Agent identification card

On April 18, 1982, the United States Border Patrol set up a roadblock just south of Florida City, on U.S. Highway 1, to catch illegal immigrants traveling to and from the Florida Keys. In response, after five days of ensuing traffic congestion and intrusive behavior by the Border Patrol, the people of Key West staged a mock secession from the United States and established the Conch Republic on April 23.

Mayor of Key West, Dennis Wardlow, holding the flag of “ secession” of the Conch Republic (1982)

Mayor of Key West, Dennis Wardlow, holding the flag of “ secession” of the Conch Republic (1982)