It all started when...
In case you may be unfamiliar with the history of Key West, allow us to explain the significance of the Cocky Republic and the homage we wish to pay to our unique home.
On April 23, 1982, Key West underwent a "mock secession" from the United States and therefore established the Conch Republic, which now refers to all of the Florida Keys, along with the clever motto "we seceded where others failed". The drama actually ensued from some serious frustrations by locals and tourists against the U.S. Border Patrol at the time, but in fact helped establish the one-of-a-kind culture that thrives even today on the island. Some funny sh*t went down, like faux declarations of war with firing water cannons and throwing stale Cuban bread, so I suggest you read up on it in your spare time.
If you're into conclusions, morals of the story, and thrilling plot twists, the only point you really need to take from this is that Key West is a total badass. But as you see here, and the most important detail of all, somehow this weird little island has displayed such a beautiful, positive example of how to boldly make a point while simultaneously maintaining peace, unity, humor, and above all...pride.
But don't get it twisted, people. Our weirdness extends even further back to the year of 1828, when the state of Florida officially recognized the city of Key West.