Freedom Still Means Free at the World-Famous Flora-Bama

Freedom Still Means Free at the World-Famous Flora-Bama

August 23, 2021

Freedom Still Means Free at the World-Famous Flora-Bama

By Chris Warner (

August 22, 2021


     Located in the far western corner of the sunny State of Florida, just over the Alabama State Line, the fabled five-star, honky tonk known for its ephemeral doses of live music, laughter, libations and song, remains one of the last bastions of true freedom in the United States of America.  By the solemn promise and sanctioning of the state’s embattled governor, and the unbreakable will of the owners, performers and lively patrons of its multiple stages, people can still gather mask-free, enjoy themselves without reservation and carry on with the insatiable human joy of having fun—which, according to the revered beach dive’s noted Patriarch, is the principle business of life—at least for Americans still believing in the seemingly feckless, fleeting, American Dream.

     There are many interesting things happening daily at the Flora-Bama, where blowing off steam and people watching are at a market premium.  Although 2020 saw the famous watering hole close for only the third time since its humble beginning in 1964, when it was a two-room ramshackle package liquor store and burgeoning hot spot for vacationing revelers in the proverbial know.  Back in the early days the clever, young proprietor, Joe Gilchrist, a daily fixture, would politely thank patrons for visiting the package store.  However, he took his business approach to customer service a step further—he asked if he could buy them a cocktail in the tiny lounge he set up with a singer-songwriter.  Joe was so nice it was hard for many of the customers to say no.  Once they heard the music and enjoyed themselves—they started coming back for more—in droves—and the Flora-Bama Lounge & Package was born.  Since then, the quintessential worm hole for fun, frolic and friends has survived a number of unforeseen calamities and challenges, including a fire, multiple hurricanes, an oil spill and more recently—a Plandemic.

     The bribed media professionals won’t inform you, but America has been at silent war for the last several months, going on two years next March.  This is not a conventional fight fought with guns, bombs and bullets.  Instead, this is a conflict of the heart, soul and mind—one that has turned countless Americans against one another—arguing personal safety, mask-wearing, destructive lockdowns and finally—ineffective vaccinations and unlimited booster shots—all with a political bent.  If you’re a Karen or a Ken—you’ve spent much time virtue signaling, safety demonstrating and berating your fellow Americans for their perceived lack of care, much to everyone’s detriment, aggravation and chagrin.  However, this was all by globalist design. 

     The time has come to end the madness.  The time has come for all to heal, to return to the way of life that makes us all American—with the ability to freely pursue happiness in every legal way, form or fashion.  If you are pining for such a reactionary tact—it may be time for you and friends to shun the masks and make a much-needed trip to the World-Famous Flora-Bama—where freedom still means free—for everyone.

     Earlier this year country music artist, entertainer and entrepreneur John Rich, an Amarillo, Texas native, appeared at Flora-Bama with the popular duo “Thompson Squared,” husband and wife team,  Shawna and Kiefer Thompson, for a military fundraiser to benefit “Folds of Honor,” a non-profit that provides scholarships to spouses and children of fallen and disabled military  personnel.  Rich and the Thompsons wanted to raise $50,000.  They ended up raising more than twice that, for a terrific cause.  It was a wonderful night, full of music, reflection, patriotism and of course, song, as the Thompsons and Rich entertained an intent, patriotic, packed crowd glad to be free; outside under the tent stage, the ebb and flow of the murmuring Gulf of Mexico beckoning, nearby. 

     Rich, known for his outspokenness and his undying love of our country, its flag and our military, had this to say about the ongoing, quiet conflict that threatens our great nation. 

“Being a Patriot isn’t qualified by supporting a certain candidate or political party. It simply means you love your country and your freedom so much you’d literally die for it. So ask yourself, are you a Patriot?”

     Rich’s timely statement to our visceral cause is one that should be repeated and asked of many Americans wanting answers.  How much do you love your country?  How much do you love your freedom?  And more importantly—what are you willing to do to protect that freedom for you, and your posterity?  Each of us is capable of making a difference for our country and our livelihood.

     Perhaps you, like many Americans, are so disillusioned, so disoriented from the fog of war, that you have lost focus on what essentially makes us Americans…our ability to live free…the freedom to choose, the freedom to pursue happiness—the freedom to enjoy life!

     If this is indeed the case, it may be time for a great reset—that time for you to forget all of your worldly trappings, worries and responsibilities and to plan an extended trip to that quintessential fortress of freedom and fun—the World-Famous Flora-Bama, on the beautiful, powder white shores of the Gulf of Mexico, in the State of Florida, perhaps the freest State of them all, in the besieged and embattled, USA. 

     So in closing, I borrow a line from the talented John Rich: “Are you a patriot?”

If the answer is yes—then I’ll  certainly see you at the Flora-Bama!


*Chris Warner is the author and publisher of over 20 books, including, “Bushwhacked at the Flora-Bama,” the tidal saloon’s colorful history with Joe Gilchrist, and three novels, “Saved at the Alabama-Florida Line,” “They Met at the Alabama-Florida Line,” and “Trouble at the Alabama-Florida Line.”  A native of New Iberia, in South Louisiana, he lives in Perdido Key, Florida.  To learn more about Chris and his many books, visit:







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