Gadsden Flag Don’t Tread on Me




Gadsden revolutionary war Don’t Tread on Me flag in yellow. Features a snake who is warning of a potential bite if messed with.

The meaning of Old Glory can get mixed up with the rights and wrongs of the perpetually new-and-improved government. The meaning of “Don’t Tread on Me” is unmistakable

The rattlesnake was the favorite animal emblem of the Americans even before the Revolution. In 1751 Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette carried a bitter article protesting the British practice of sending convicts to America. The author suggested that the colonists return the favor by shipping “a cargo of rattlesnakes, which could be distributed in St. James Park, Spring Garden, and other places of pleasure, and particularly in the noblemen’s gardens.” Three years later the same paper printed the picture (as seen above) of a snake as a commentary on the Albany Congress. To remind the delegates of the danger of disunity, the serpent was displayed cut to pieces. Each segment was marked with the name of a colony, and the motto “Join or Die” below. Other newspapers took up the snake theme.

The Gadsden Flag: The American Revolutionary period was a time of intense but controlled individualism – when self-directing responsible individuals again and again decided for themselves what they should do, and did without needing anyone else to give them an assignment or supervise them in carrying it out.

Such a person was the patriot Colonel Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina. He had seen and liked a bright yellow banner with a hissing, coiled rattlesnake rising up in the center, and beneath the serpent the same words that appeared on the Striped Rattlesnake Flag – Don’t Tread On Me. Colonel Gadsden made a copy of this flag and submitted the design to the Provincial Congress in South Carolina. Commodore Esek Hopkins, commander of the new Continental fleet, carried a similar flag in February, 1776, when his ships put to sea for the first time.

Hopkins captured large stores of British cannon and military supplies in the Bahamas. His cruise marked the salt-water baptism of the American Navy, and it saw the first landing of the Corps of Marines, on whose drums the Gadsden symbol was created.


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