Not content with celebrating liberty on July 4, a group of Texans has gleaned inspiration from Brexit—the UK's decision to leave the EU—with its own push for independence. The similar-sounding "Texit" movement, which gained significant support online Friday, is mainly being pushed by the Texas Nationalist Movement, which is basically the US soulmate of the UK secession initiative, according to its leader, David Miller, right down to the "Leave" campaign slogan that TNM says it's been using for years. With a motto of "Texas First, Texas Forever," the group, like those behind Brexit, advocates for "self-government," Miller tells News.com.au. "At this moment, we don't enjoy that right," he says. "The vast majority of the laws, rules, and regulations that affect the people of Texas are created by the political class or unelected bureaucrats in Washington."
Vocativ decided to see how often the phrase "Texit" has been used in 2016 and found that online references spiked after the Brexit tally came in. Nearly 1,800 people tweeted something Texit-related in the hour of the announcement, with thousands more tweets following. Some of the posts are frighteningly serious, others are somewhat clever (cue the "most likely to secede" memes), and still others can't do anything but virtually shake their heads. It's not the first time some of the state's residents have vied for a breakaway: Right after President Obama's reelection, the White House turned down a petition signed by 125,000 people calling for Texas' freedom, Fox News reported. One Texit supporter tells the Guardian that a secession would bring back "Texas solutions" on issues such as gay marriage, gun rights, and immigration. (Here, a few legal takes on secession rules.)