South Florida: an independent state?


According to South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, some northern Floridians would just love to slice the state in half and let South Florida float off into the Caribbean.

Officials in the city of South Miami passed a resolution Tuesday in favor of South Florida becoming the 51st state, because Tallahassee isn’t addressing its concerns like the rising sea level. 

According to Business 2 Community, South Miami Vice Mayor Walter Harris was inspired by Scotland’s attempt at independence from the United Kingdom. In other words, this is what happens when you gather a group of disgruntled elected officials on a national news television program. 

“We’ve been the laughing stock for a very long time,” Harris said in an interview with WPTV. “We’re setting a record with that ‘Fangate’ thing …”

Then again, maybe giving each gubernatorial candidate half a state would stop their debating over who’s richer long enough for them to actually answer some questions.

While it may be true that Tallahassee hasn’t worried much over the climate change in cities like Miami, splitting off seems like an unnecessary jump. Harris is so focused on the resolution that he’s hardly taking into account the kinds of consequences that could result from this kind of separation. 

For one thing, this might give people the idea that ‘If you don’t like it, leave.’ 

Commissioner Gabriel Edmond said he wanted officials to “be careful” because it might set a precedent for others to break away from the city of South Miami if they don’t like the way they’re being represented.

Taking a look back at history, the Carolinas split in 1712 partly due to cultural differences and the Dakotas separated after controversy over the location of a capital. When looking at it that way, what is there to stop people like Harris and Stoddard from getting their very own separate state? It doesn’t seem like northern Floridians would really be opposed to the idea.

It’s difficult to say whether this disagreement over the South’s climate change will be enough to convince officials of the split. These kinds of changes would affect college tuition, taxes and the state’s overall economy. 

However, it’s still early to talk of what the new state symbols will be (what will we do without “Suwannee River” as our unifying state song?) or even where South Florida’s capital will be located. 

The request is still far from official. It has to first be sent to the governing bodies of the proposed South Florida counties for consideration, and then requires electorate and congressional approval to be enacted. 

If all goes according to plan, USF will sit on the border of this newly proposed state of South Florida, and for the first time, the university’s name will actually make sense.

 We might even get to name Disney World our capital.