(CNN – Oct. 22, 2014)– Miami-area lawmakers are proposing adding a 51st star to the American flag.
City of South Miami commissioners have approved a resolution that calls for splitting Florida in half. The resolution outlines a new state, made up of 24 counties in the southern part of the peninsula.
The split would be along the Interstate 4 corridor. Specifically, commissioners want Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Orange and Brevard to become the border counties of the state of South Florida.
The new state would include the cities of St. Petersburg, Tampa and Orlando — so Disney World is in, Daytona Beach is out.
The 24 counties would include 23,000 square miles, about 40% of Florida’s present land mass. It would also house 13.4 million people, about two-thirds of the present population.
Though the proposal sounds farcical, it highlights the serious issue of rising sea levels, which threaten the southern half of the state.
According to the resolution, which passed by a 3-2 vote, North Florida sits 120 feet above sea level, while parts of South Florida are 5 feet or less above sea level.
The “situation is very precarious and in need of immediate attention,” according to the resolution, which goes on to say that water levels are expected to rise 3 to 6 feet over the next century.
Commissioners said the creation of a 51st state “is a necessity for the very survival of the entire southern region,” claiming that, “Often South Florida issues do not receive the support of Tallahassee. This is despite the fact that South Florida generates more than 69% of the state’s revenue.”
The commission directed its clerk to send copies of the resolution to all 24 counties, as well as the cities within those counties, for approval.
Florida voters and Congress would need to approve splitting the state.