This was the year before the declaration of independence was signed. An opportunity to capture supplies that they couldn’t afford not to capitalize on. It features a yellow background and a coiled rattlesnake that appears prepared to strike. Chris is continuing a legacy of support for our rights by working with his family to increase firearms education and awareness as the lead editor of GunBacker. However, it’s more about today’s perception of the flag than its original creator’s message. The overly-sensitive employee “maintains that the Gadsden Flag is a ‘historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from … Through discussions over the symbolic meaning of the flag and its catchphrase, historians suggest that the phrase itself came from anti-British sentiments. Instead, here’s the real story you need to be reading. Likely, you have been reading news stories about how wearing the Gadsden Flag could be punishable harassment or how Colin Kaepernick didn’t stand during the national anthem. Because of its creator’s history and because it is commonly flown alongside “Trump 2020” flags, the Confederate battle flag and other white-supremacist … To get a clearer picture of what the Gadsden Flag symbol was actually intended for, let’s take a brief look at the history of the flag, and it’s maker, Christopher Gadsden. The Gadsden Flag is an iconic historical American flag that consists of a drawing of a coiled rattlesnake on a patch of grass with the phrase "DON'T TREAD ON ME" displayed below, all on a yellow background. But where did it come from, what does it mean, and how are people’s perceptions of it changing today? Though in its original form, the Don’t Tread on Me symbol appeared on a flag, it’s available in other formats today. In recent news, both the Gadsden Flag and the Pledge of Allegiance, two bold expressions of freedom and independence for the American people, have been opposed, bringing attention to unjustified racial resentment. Because Great Britain is no longer a threat, does that mean the flag should fade into obscurity as a Revolutionary relic? But you could also argue that we have a bigger and better symbol of American unity, strength, and righteousness- the Stars and Stripes. It is a wonderful symbol of our country’s strength and willpower leading to becoming the free and powerful country it is today. While we can argue the relevance of historical flags to no end, many people choose to compare the Gadsden flag with other potentially racially-charged symbols. Welcome to the Battle of Bunker Hill. America’s patriotic integrity is being called into question. Then, of course, there was the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Unfortunately, the Beltway Right co-opted it, and the Tea Party failed to stop government spending or even Obamacare. That motto became part of the Gadsden flag—the same symbol that, 242 years later, is now being considered racist. The “Join, or Die” illustration was first published in 1754 by Benjamin Franklin as a political cartoon for the Pennsylvania Gazette, an ... Colorado became the 38th state 100 years after the United States’ birth, earning an apt nickname in the process: the Centennial State. Though it’s an interesting case, we’ll save the details for another time. It’s been around for hundreds of years, but where did the flag and its message come from? The noticeable flag is everywhere today, from personal vehicles to storefronts to signs. In the fall of 1775, the British were occupying Boston and the young Continental Army was holed up in Cambridge, lacking the necessary supplies to last through the season. Here’s everything you need to know about the Don’t Tread on Me meaning, history, and modern interpretation. Positioned below the rattlesnake are the words "Dont tread on me". Gadsden Flag The Gadsden Flag was created by South Carolina Congressman Christopher Gadsden for the first Commander-in-Chief of the United States Navy, Esek Hopkins. What means one thing to one person may signify something entirely different to another. Although the Gadsden flag came about during the Revolutionary War, other flags alluded to the war and didn’t attract as much attention. Y’all know, the yellow flag with the coiled snake. It’s possible that the Gadsden flag could soon be part of the blacklisted symbols from American history. This was the … Others use the image in politically-driven products or promotional materials. The rumor is that Colonel Gadsden presented the Navy commander-in-chief, Esek Hopkins, with a yellow Don’t Tread on Me flag for his own use. The message was clear: leave America to create its own future, and you won’t see retribution. While the EEOC reviewed the record, they came to a conclusion that the Gadsden Flag originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context. The Gadsden Flag. But perhaps what’s most intriguing about the Don’t Tread on Me message is the fact that banning it from polling places, political debates, and flags flies in the face of what Gadsden and other colonial Americans intended when they revolted against Great Britain. The rattlesnake also has sharp eyes, and "may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance. Many of the military successes of the American Revolution were brought about by a man who was christened the title of General, yet, he h... Before 1956, the United States Army was the only branch of the military without an official flag to decorate it. In the 1970’s, Americans saw a resurgence in the symbolism of the rattlesnake in some Libertarian groups. The EEOC had already decided that wearing a Confederate flag T-shirt constituted punishable harassment, but they also extended that ruling to other political speech. Although Franklin’s “join or die” caption may have referred to uniting the colonies against the Natives, it later became a colonial catchphrase to encourage a stand against the British. A plan was hatched by Washington and the Second Continental Congress to capture the cargo ships. Complainant stated that he found the cap to be racially offensive to African Americans because the flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden, a “slave trader & owner of slaves.”. Gadsden led the Sons of Liberty as early as 1765, later become a colonel in the Continental Army, and served in the Continental Congress. Originally introduced during the American Revolution, the flag has since become associated with libertarianism and the Tea Party movementin the 21st century. Many Second Amendment supporters, including gun owners, use the symbolism of the rattlesnake and the historical quote on apparel or other products with gun owner rights images or wording. Possibly the most common interpretation of the Gadsden flag today involves gun ownership and rights. Where does the madness end? The rattlesnake was a general symbol of American independence at the time, which came from this famous political cartoon that every American student sees at at least one point in their life. Our flags intended for patriotic cheer—like the Gadsden Flag—are being considered racist. Welcome to the Battle of Bunker Hill. The Gadsden flag can now be found on bumper stickers, morale patches, and Facebook cover photos around the country, and even around the world wherever Americana and a desire for civil liberties, including gun ownership. We live in a dangerous time. Though it appears to have hibernated for a while, new versions of the Gadsden flag became popular shortly after 9/11. But after Nazis adopted it, the emblem lost its appeal across our country and the world. The Gadsden Flag is a proud and noble symbol of American patriotism and resistance to tyranny. Yellow Gadsden flag, prominent in Capitol takeover, carries a long and shifting history Gone is the original intent to unite the states to fight an outside oppressor. U.S. history is being rewritten and forever changed. Although Ben Franklin made plenty of satirical comments about rattlesnakes, no one seems to attribute the iconic quote to him. Many assume that the phrase is cautioning the government and other people in general against trying to take rights away from gun owners. For context into the time period, his fellow American patriot, and slave owner, Benjamin Franklin, actually helped him design the American rattlesnake symbol used on the Gadsden flag. It was used by the Continental Marines and is often used in the United States by conservatives as a symbol for limited government. Some of the Marines that enlisted that month in Philadelphia were carrying drums painted yellow, emblazoned with a fierce rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike, with thirteen rattles, and sporting the motto "Don't Tread on Me.". One answer involves history. He praised their constant vigilance and the animal’s innate instinct not to attack unless provoked. In 1775, he was in Philadelphia representing his home state in the Continental Congress. In contrast with today’s perceptions of the Gadsden flag, early Americans looked to it as a representation of their unity and strength in that unification. Here are a few notes on the flag’s symbolism, written by his friend and colleague, Ben Franklin. During the time of unrest leading up to the American Revolution, colonial Americans were unhappy with Great Britain’s control over them. Although it doesn’t suggest any racist ideals, and in fact, many slave owners collaborated on our Constitution, it’s still a historical indicator of past values. However, it was not a rebellion without a clue, but a rebellion against tyranny. The rattlesnake represented an American population, Christopher Gadsden owned and sold slaves, a Confederate flag T-shirt constituted punishable harassment, The Betsy Ross Flag: History of the Flag and Why It Is Still Important Today, Military Medical Systems That Could Save Your Life, Best Handgun Calibers for Beginners: Shooting a Pistol For the First Time, Best AR-15 Scopes and Optics: Tactical Reviews, Palmetto State Armory Releases PSA AR-V – A 9mm PCC, The Best Shotguns For Home Defense: Keep Your Family Safe, Kestrel Ballistics Meters and HUD: A Long Range Review, Best 9mm Pistols: The Top 10 Semi-Automatic Handguns, Springfield Hellcat Review: A Budget Friendly Micro-Compact Handgun, Taurus G2S Review: Conceal Carry on a Budget. While every American is free to interpret the Gadsden flag any way that they want, there are limitations on the use of the imagery when it comes to others’ rights. In 2012, the EEOC ruled that co-workers wearing Confederate flag T-shirts can be subject to punishable harassment. As recorded in the South Carolina congressional journals: "Col. Gadsden presented to the Congress an elegant standard, such as is to be used by the commander in chief of the American navy; being a yellow field, with a lively representation of a rattle-snake in the middle, in the attitude of going to strike, and these words underneath, "Don't Tread on Me!". The comparison is apt as they both represent responding with force to perceived threats, but I have always preferred the Gadsden flag as the perfect expression of subtle defiance and resistance. The Gadsden Flag represents a time when America was in the process of fighting for its’ freedom and therefore a very important representation of American history. It’s also a … Gadsden, a colonel in the Continental Army, is believed to have gifted … While there are people who use it in hateful ways, there are many more who recognize its historical significance and want to maintain the right to fly it. Gadsden also presented Congress with a copy of the flag, which congressional journals recorded. In recent news, both the Gadsden Flag and the Pledge of Allegiance, two bol... Sign up to receive our daily email and get 50% off your first purchase. Both he and Franklin were staunch American patriots. The EEOC found that the Gadsden flag originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context, and has been used to express various non-racial sentiments, such as when it … When it comes to speech, it’s even harder to connect racially-charged intent with the apparel someone is wearing. Though the Gadsden flag has, at times, been used to communicate racial messages. His state, Minnesota, maintains a ban on political apparel at the polls, and the court argued whether the shirt and its message counted as political in nature. But the other piece of Americans’ attraction to the flag was likely its use of an edgier and dangerous symbol. The Gadsden flag is often described as the American equivalent of the Spartan “ molon labe ” (“come and take [them]”) motto. In most cases, historians agree that the Gadsden flag is not racist. Ultimately, it depends on both who you ask and how the imagery is being used. As you may recall, the colonies that were once under the power of Great Britain revolted between 1765 and 1783. Complainant backed-up his claim stating that the Gadsden Flag is a “historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from the Tea Party.” He also noted that the Vice President of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters cited the Gadsden Flag as the equivalent of the Confederate Battle Flag when he successfully had it removed from a New Haven, Connecticut, fire department flagpole. Today, the Gadsden flag has found supporters in several areas as a symbol of patriotism, American pride, disagreement with a tyrannical government, and the support of civil liberties, particularly gun ownership in our current political climate. To accompany the Navy on their first mission, Congress also authorized the mustering of five companies of Marines. The latest firearms reviews, gear reviews and safe shooting tips for responsible gun owners. The Gadsden flag is one of at least three kinds of flags created by independence-minded colonists in the run-up to the Revolutionary War… Critics of the Gadsden flag suggest that it’s not the original meaning of a symbol or object, but instead the current perception. Especially striking was Franklin’s suggestion that in response to Great Britain sending convicted criminals to the US, so Americans should send back rattlesnakes. It was created during a time of war and symbolized the willingness of Americans to fight for independence.It is essential to know the true meaning of the flag and not to confuse it with racist acts or groups.What do you think about the flag?Please leave a comment below and share with us your opinion. Interesting point, I have a Gadsden flag patch on my Victory motorcycle vest. It’s a symbol that you could say is even more American than our Stars and Stripes or our national anthem. Part of the Gadsden flag’s appeal was no doubt the notoriety of Franklin’s symbolism. Specifically, regarding the Second Amendment, many people proudly display the Don’t Tread on Me flag as a way of asserting their right to gun ownership in a political climate where it seems no rights are guaranteed. In Gadsden’s time, his values involved owning and selling people. One of the roles of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is to attend to hostile work environment claims brought against federal agencies. It’s no secret that Gadsden made his money as a merchant in South Carolina, and both owned and sold slaves. Benjamin Franklin’s commentary and “art,” featuring a rattlesnake cut into sections as colonies and imploring colonists to “join or die,” spoke for many Americans at the time. Have a Gadsden flag certainly was a slave owner, people who fly his flag to his state legislature Charleston. 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