Today I noticed my mate from Belfast on Facebook saying he was heading home for the weekend with a few bars of Free State Chocolate (ours is much better apparently!) and it got me thinking, do many people still call the south the free state?
The guy in question is 25 so has obviously never known it as the free state officially and I assumed with older people it was simply a case of thats what it was called when they grew up, similar to my own father still calling Czech Republic/Slovakia Czechoslovakia! I've also heard people give numerous other explanations for its use by catholics and protestants - namely catholics call it the free state as it is 'free from British rule' while protestants simply dislike the use of the term 'Ireland' (I dont buy that one).
So for anyone that knows, what is the exact reasoning behind it? Is it just something people pick up from their parents or a concious decision? Do people care if they call it the free state?