Hurricane Flags Burned in Key West to Mark Storm Season's End

The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season officially came to a close on Wednesday with a special event in Key West, Florida. To mark the end of the season, a group of Key West residents gathered to burn hurricane warning flags in a special ceremony. This season saw an average number of storms, with 14 named storms and 8 resulting in hurricanes. One of the two major hurricanes this season, Ian, impacted the Florida Keys with tropical storm-force winds and some storm surge before making landfall on the Florida mainland.

Wednesday’s ceremony included a blast from a conch shell, a symbol of the Keys, as well as several speakers that remembered those affected by the 2022 hurricanes and expressed gratitude that the Keys were spared major impacts. Members of the Keys’ Conch Republic administration ended the ceremony by dousing the flags with rum and setting them on fire. This event drew a crowd of several hundred cheering spectators gathered at Key West’s Truman Waterfront near the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham, which is now a maritime museum.

The burning of the flags was an important symbolic gesture to mark the end of the 2022 hurricane season and to show appreciation that the Keys were largely spared from the storms this season. This ceremony also served as a reminder of the need to remain vigilant in preparing for and dealing with the impacts of future storms.

The annual burning of hurricane flags is a unique tradition for Key West and a reminder of the importance of hurricane preparedness and the resilience of the Keys community. This ceremony serves as a reminder that even when faced with the devastating effects of hurricanes, the community is strong and can come together to celebrate and honor those affected.