Members of the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, along with the Conch Republic Navy, use locally made rum, donated by Paul Menta of Key West’s First Legal Rum Distillery, to light the red-and-black hurricane flag on fire on Nov. 30 at Truman Waterfront to celebrate the end of hurricane season.

The Florida Keys emerged from hurricane season relatively unscathed, and celebrated on Nov. 30, the last day of the storm season, by setting the red-and-black hurricane flag on fire at Truman Waterfront.

In U.S. maritime warning flag systems, a red square flag with a black square in the middle is used to indicate a storm warning. The use of two such flags together denotes a hurricane force wind warning or a hurricane warning.

Key West Mayor Teri Johnston spoke at the annual flag burning, which included members of the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, as well as enthusiastic members of the tongue-in-cheek Conch Republic Navy.

Paul Menta, owner of Key West’s First Legal Rum Distillery, donated the rum that was used as an accelerant to set the flag on fire.

Key West Mayor Teri Johnston speaks at Truman Waterfront in celebration of the end of hurricane season on Nov. 30.

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Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.