"Free State of Florida" Added To State Welcome Signs

TALLAHASSEE -- A line often used by Governor Ron DeSantis in public and campaign appearances now greets Floridians and others entering and leaving the state.

The Florida Department of Transportation says the phrase "Free State of Florida" has been placed on all welcome signs at the state line. FDOT says the new signs "(offer) a warm welcome to visitors as they enter and leave on major state roadways."

The signs seen by people leaving the state urges them to "Hurry Back" to the state, echoing messages on welcome centers in the mid-20th century.

Since becoming governor, DeSantis has used the "Free State of Florida" in multiple appearances, referring to Florida in his second inaugural address as an "outpost of liberty" for multiple public policy choices including being on the leading edge of lifting pandemic-era restrictions. Opponents have questioned the phrase, pointing to laws on LGBTQ issues, limiting DEI in the workplace, and banning lab-grown meat in the state.

Photo Credit: FDOT

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