Ever since Benjamin Franklin used the rattlesnake to represent the 13 Colonies, its meaning has been debated, most notably as part of the Gadsden Flag, which includes those four iconic words: Don’t Tread on Me. But what was its original intent? Who used it first, and what were they seeking to portray? We tried to answer those questions, and for additional context, brought in Peter Ansoff, President of the North American Vexillological Association — the world’s largest organization of flag enthusiasts and scholars. Relying on primary sources and proprietary research, Peter describes the (probable) first time the Gadsden Flag flew; the uniquely American roots of the rattlesnake; the ebbs and flows of the rattlesnake as a symbol; and how both have been used in more recent political movements.
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 it- 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 painted.
A Colorado Springs school has reversed course after booting a 12-year-old boy off campus for refusing to remove a patch on his backpack depicting the patriotic “Don’t Tread on Me” Gadsden flag.
According to video footage, administrators at The Vanguard Secondary School had told a seventh grader named Jaiden that he could not step on campus while wearing the backpack with the patriotic patch. Staff at the charter school, part of Harrison School District 2, reportedly argued that the banner featuring a rattlesnake and the words “Don’t Tread on Me” is associated with “slavery” and the “slave trade.”
Yet The Vanguard School Board of Directors sent a message to the community Wednesday reversing course.
“The Vanguard School Board of Directors called an emergency meeting,” reads the message from the board, which was posted online by Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute. “From Vanguard’s founding, we have proudly supported our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the ordered liberty that all Americans have enjoyed for almost 250 years.”
“The Vanguard School recognizes the historical significance of the Gadsden flag and its place in history,” the message adds. “This incident is an occasion for us to reaffirm our deep commitment to a classical education in support of these American principles.”
“At this time, the Vanguard School Board and the District have informed the student’s family that he may attend school with the Gadsden flag patch visible on his backpack.”….
REPORT: School Removes 12-Year-Old From Class Over Revolutionary War Flag Patch (DAILY CALLER)
Colorado Boy Removed From Class Over ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ Patch (WASHINGTON TIMES)
Colorado Controversy Raises Questions Over the Meaning of the Gadsden Flag [Updated] (JONATHAN TURLEY)
The Meaning Of The Gadsden Flag, ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ Symbol That Got Colorado Boy Briefly Booted From School (NY POST)
School TREADS ON KID Over ‘Racist’ Gadsden Flag Patch (SEAN SPICER)
I have to say that my jaw hit the floor for the reason why this flag was banned… because the Washington Post said. Lol. What, does everyone go off of NYT and WaPo articles? The FBI? The CIA? Special Counsels? School districts? I guess the difference between the school district and the FBI is that they didn’t leak the false info to WaPo, then use the article as evidence to get a FISA Warrant.
Also used for “scholarly” support? Oregon Live, The Conversation, and Military. com.
Here is the email noting why the flag was being banned initially. Jeff Yokum literally says, “I am providing you the rationale for determining the Gadsden Flag is considered an unacceptable symbol.” And then links left leaning articles. Lol.
The response from the mom was awesome! here is THE BLAZE-TV talking about it:
A 12-year-old boy from Colorado Springs is standing up to his school’s policy that he cannot wear the “Don’t Tread On Me” Gadsden flag because it is supposedly racist. Jaiden was taken out of the classroom because his backpack had a flag patch on the back, and he refused to take it off. His mother went up to the school to defend her son, and she taught school officials just exactly what the flag symbolized and that it is not, in fact, tied to slavery.
JUST AN ASIDE: The female host mentions the “okay” symbol as used by white supremacists. This was not the case toill after 4-Chan posted it as a hoax, and the Left and the media (MSM) fell for it and pushed it as true did the racist whites start using it:
How did it become connected to “white power”?
It started in early 2017 as a hoax. Anonymous users of 4chan, an anonymous and unrestricted online message board, began what they called “Operation O-KKK,” to see if they could trick the wider world — and especially, liberals and the mainstream media — into believing that the innocuous gesture was actually a clandestine symbol of white power.
“We must flood Twitter and other social media websites with spam, claiming that the OK hand signal is a symbol of white supremacy,” one of the users posted, going on to suggest that everyone involved create fake social media accounts “with basic white girl names” to propagate the notion as widely as possible.
The 4chan hoax succeeded all too well and ceased being a hoax: Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen and other white nationalists began using the gesture in public to signal their presence and to spot potential sympathisers and recruits. For them, the letters formed by the hand were not O and K, but W and P, for “white power”.
Like an upload discussed regarding Trump [and really “conservative ideals”] being punk, this is the new punk-rock.
Benny Johnson interviews Based Jaiden:
I sat down with Based Jaiden, the Patriot who stood up to his school — and won, after they tried to get him to remove his Gadsden Flag patch from his backpack for a meme review!
The Governor of Colorado even commented on the issue:
Here is a portion of an excellent article by PATRIOT WOOD discussing the Gadsden Flag:
It was also used by the Continental Marines as an early motto flag. The use of rattlesnakes as a symbol of the American colonies can be traced back to the publications of Benjamin Franklin. (MORE)