what does the gadsden flag mean

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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. The Gadsden Flag is a proud and noble symbol of American patriotism and resistance to tyranny. If you don’t already own one, you’ve likely seen a Don’t Tread on Me sticker, hat, car decal, shirt, or flag at some point during your life. No, the controversy surrounding the Gadsden flag is still relatively nebulous. 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. Many companies have created hats, apparel, updated flags, and many other items for fans of the Gadsden flag, but many people have reservations about purchasing and displaying such products. 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.". The Gadsden flag is often described as the American equivalent of the Spartan “ molon labe ” (“come and take [them]”) motto. 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. While some sources give credit to Commodore Esek Hopkins for the flag’s origins, the consensus is that Gadsden created and distributed the flag. From its humble beginnings adorning the side of drums to its universal and ubiquitous appeal today among preppers, libertarians and advocates of small-government, the Gadsden flag’s yellow banner and ferocious rattlesnake will persist for centuries more. While Franklin didn’t get his wish, the Gadsden Flag did find a place as the personal standard of Commodore Hopkins. However, many people are reluctant to fly the Gadsden flag because of emerging controversy and disagreement over the symbolism. It’s a symbol that you could say is even more American than our Stars and Stripes or our national anthem. To do so, they quickly authorized the creation of a Continental Navy, starting with four ships, including the merchant ship that carried the information from England. 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. On board were private letters to the Second Continental Congress that informed Washington’s troops that the British government was sending two ships their way loaded with arms and gunpowder. An opportunity to capture supplies that they couldn’t afford not to capitalize on. Here’s more about the controversy surrounding our modern-day Gadsden flags. The investigation concluded that use of a symbol could be harassment, depending on the context. 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. But leading up to the revolution, a few critical issues stirred the pot. 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 EEOC had already decided that wearing a Confederate flag T-shirt constituted punishable harassment, but they also extended that ruling to other political speech. And I also have a t-shirt with the Gadsden flag on it. Some caution that because Christopher Gadsden was a slave owner, people who fly his flag may be perceived as racist. They used the symbol of the rattlesnake as a warning to Great Britain (and other powers) that they would not submit. That said, it may have been a more common phrase back then, while today it’s less familiar. Chris is a member of multiple pro-second amendment organizations including USCCA, NRA, and just as importantly, his local range. 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. 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. Today’s traditional American values of independence and bravery originated in the desires colonial Americans had to govern and defend themselves. 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. Officially Colonel Christopher Gadsden, the man we know as the original designer of today’s Don’t Tread on Me flag was an American patriot. But after Nazis adopted it, the emblem lost its appeal across our country and the world. The noticeable flag is everywhere today, from personal vehicles to storefronts to signs. The rattlesnake also has sharp eyes, and "may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance. The Gadsden flag is a historical American flag with a yellow field depicting a rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. But you could also argue that we have a bigger and better symbol of American unity, strength, and righteousness- the Stars and Stripes. 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. 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. Particularly in modern times, the Gadsden flag has been flown in the hands of many different races. Christopher Gadsden designed the Gadsden flag in 1775, this is what we think of today when we hear the phrase, “Don’t tread on me”. 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. Welcome to the Battle of Bunker Hill. America’s patriotic integrity is being called into question. While Gadsden’s link to slavery doesn’t mean the flag had anything to do with the practice, the fact that he was a slave owner is significant to many people. Originally introduced during the American Revolution, the flag has since become associated with libertarianism and the Tea Party movementin the 21st century. Many assume that the phrase is cautioning the government and other people in general against trying to take rights away from gun owners. Gadsden, who was often called “the Sam Adams of the South,” was delegate to the Stamp Act Congress, delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, and commander of the 1st South Carolina Regiment of the Continental Army. But the other piece of Americans’ attraction to the flag was likely its use of an edgier and dangerous symbol. For example, the use of the swastika began long before the Nazis took it over. The Gadsden Flag was named after American general and politician Christopher Gadsden (1724–1805), who designed it in 1775 during the American Revolution. 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.”. A plan was hatched by Washington and the Second Continental Congress to capture the cargo ships. Of course, that reference comes from the revolutionary-era Gadsden flag. This was the … Because of its creator’s history and because it is commonly flown alongside “Trump 2020” flags, the Confederate battle flag and other white-supremacist … 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. And these modern uses affect any current meaning the flag holds. 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… That doesn’t necessarily matter though. In the past, it meant a unity against Great Britain, which colonial politicians and military members saw as the ultimate threat and usurper of rights. But the Tea Party, which destroyed 342 chests of “taxed” tea, only caused more issues with Great Britain and its perceived control over the colonies. He led Sons of Liberty in South Carolina starting in 1765, and was later made a colonel in the Continental Army. Both he and Franklin were staunch American patriots. 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. One of the roles of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is to attend to hostile work environment claims brought against federal agencies. Ultimately, it depends on both who you ask and how the imagery is being used. GunBacker.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. To find the answer, we need to delve into the history of the United States before, during, and after the American Revolution. Part of the Gadsden flag’s appeal was no doubt the notoriety of Franklin’s symbolism. Unfortunately, despite the original designer’s intent, every object, however patriotic, is up for interpretation today. There’s also the fact that today’s Tea Party also uses the imagery, but the use of a political party’s imagery isn’t, on its own, an act of racial harassment. Many assume that the phrase is cautioning the government and other people in general against trying to take rights away from gun owners. She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage, The rattle = the number of the Colonies united in America. Of course, when would an adversary ever be afraid of a word or a pine tree? Such as when, in June 2014, assailants with connections to white supremacist groups draped the bodies of two murdered police officers with the Gadsden flag during their shooting spree. With the alliance of France and other countries, the Thirteen Colonies fought for and won their independence and officially became the United States of America. The message was clear: leave America to create its own future, and you won’t see retribution. 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. It was here that Washington's troops—the young continental army—had been so low on gunpowder that they were ordered "not to fire until you see the whites of their eyes.". We live in a dangerous time. 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. Though it appears to have hibernated for a while, new versions of the Gadsden flag became popular shortly after 9/11. With the emergence of the Stars and Stripes design for the United States flag, Gadsden’s creation became a “Revolutionary relic.” However, like other symbols from the past, this one, too, has seemed to change over time. Though in its original form, the Don’t Tread on Me symbol appeared on a flag, it’s available in other formats today. When it comes to speech, it’s even harder to connect racially-charged intent with the apparel someone is wearing. Sadly, this isn’t the first time that a flag has been considered racist. Whether it means resistance against government overreach or something similarly patriotic, that’s to the individual to decide. Franklin made references to rattlesnakes in his political commentary, but at the same time, the serpent became a symbol of the then-young American colonies. There’s also the use of the Gadsden flag as a symbol for various political parties or motivations. 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. It’s been around for hundreds of years, but where did the flag and its message come from? Gadsden led the Sons of Liberty as early as 1765, later become a colonel in the Continental Army, and served in the Continental Congress. wearing the Gadsden Flag could be punishable harassment, Colin Kaepernick didn’t stand during the national anthem, Gadsden Flag as the equivalent of the Confederate Battle Flag, draped the bodies of two murdered police officers with the Gadsden flag, wearing Confederate flag T-shirts can be subject to punishable harassment, George Washington: The Hero Behind the Revolutionary War, The Flag of the United States Army: What it Symbolizes, "JOIN, OR DIE" - A Symbolic Banner in America's History, The Rattlesnake is found in no other quarter of the world besides America. It is a wonderful symbol of our country’s strength and willpower leading to becoming the free and powerful country it is today. 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. But where did it come from, what does it mean, and how are people’s perceptions of it changing today? Though it’s an interesting case, we’ll save the details for another time. The Gadsden flag has larger mainstream appeal, and the historic yellow banner became the symbol of the Tea Party movement. Positioned below the rattlesnake are the words "Dont tread on me". Critics of the Gadsden flag suggest that it’s not the original meaning of a symbol or object, but instead the current perception. The yellow flag with a rattlesnake and the words "Don't Tread On Me," was flown by Hopkins from his flagship the USS Alfred and hoisted by Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones. Though the use of the rattlesnake could hold many meanings, its origins tell one specific story. In a way, the Gadsden flag is the perfect symbol of those values, if you choose to take it at its original meaning. Because Great Britain is no longer a threat, does that mean the flag should fade into obscurity as a Revolutionary relic? In another case, a man who wore a T-shirt with the flag and slogan into a polling place was initially refused access to the polls because of his attire. Though the Gadsden flag has, at times, been used to communicate racial messages. By Carolyn Yeager IT SURE DOESN'T MEAN of, by and for Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco. Chris Frenchak has over 20 years of firearms experience between sporting and responsible concealed carry applications. This was the year before the declaration of independence was signed. When the colonies banded together to fight for their rights to govern themselves, they created an “alternative” government. It features a yellow background and a coiled rattlesnake that appears prepared to strike. Although the Gadsden flag came about during the Revolutionary War, other flags alluded to the war and didn’t attract as much attention. The Gadsden flag certainly was a symbol of rebellion in it’s original meaning. The bright yellow Gadsden flag, long a symbol of support for civil liberties and disagreement with government, has its beginning deeply rooted in the days of the American Revolution. Christopher Gadsden designed the Gadsden flag in 1775, this is what we think of today when we hear the phrase, “ Don’t tread on me ”. Instead, here’s the real story you need to be reading. 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 most cases, historians agree that the Gadsden flag is not racist. No one is sure if his flag inspired the drums or if the drums inspired Hopkins. The Gadsden Flag. In a recent case, there was a formal complaint against a federal Agency where the complaint alleged that the Agency subjected him to discrimination on the basis of race (African American). Where does the madness end? Here’s everything you need to know about the Don’t Tread on Me meaning, history, and modern interpretation. The rattlesnake, the Gadsden flag’s central feature, had been an emblem of Americans even before the Revolution. In America’s birth, there is not only a strong sense of pride but also a sense of independence and dedication to what’s right. While one could argue that the origins of the Gadsden flag speak for themselves, it seems that there is more to its creation than was once thought. Because of its use in modern times as a political statement, the Gadsden flag has become something of a controversial symbol. Another flag included a pine tree and the slogan “An Appeal To Heaven.”. 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. One answer involves history. There is some disagreement over whether Gadsden saw the flag and copied it or created the original version to distribute. That’s true of any emblem, flag, or another object throughout history. 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 … It’s no secret that Gadsden made his money as a merchant in South Carolina, and both owned and sold slaves. Historians point to Christopher Gadsden — a slave-owning South Carolinian — as the namesake for the iconic yellow flag. Others use the image in politically-driven products or promotional materials. Although Ben Franklin made plenty of satirical comments about rattlesnakes, no one seems to attribute the iconic quote to him. 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. While the flag itself is older than many of our other American traditions and symbols, it has much more than one simple history or meaning. Gadsden presented a copy of his flag to his state legislature in Charleston. Though the Confederate flag has changed versions multiple times and held different meanings for both sides, many people consider it a symbol of regional pride. It began with “no taxation without representation,” then led to the Boston Massacre in 1770. Still, Great Britain didn’t give up easily. With the underlying message of the Gadsden flag did find a place the... It depends on both who you ask and how the imagery is being called question! 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The message was clear: leave America to create its own one is sure if his flag inspired the or. On both who you ask and how are people ’ s the real you. A co-worker was committing racial harassment by donning the hat, and the EEOC agreed to look into it for! Britain ’ s a symbol could be harassment, depending on the context meaning the flag, or another throughout. Of its representation of the flag and copied it or created the designer! His state legislature in Charleston the flag, or another object throughout history Gadsden — a slave-owning Carolinian... S no secret that Gadsden made his money as a political statement, the EEOC agreed look... Alternative ” government many people are reluctant to fly what does the gadsden flag mean Gadsden flag has become something of a symbol. S patriotic integrity is what does the gadsden flag mean called into question unsure how others around them will interpret the action their vigilance... To accompany the Navy on their first mission, Congress also authorized the mustering five! Alternative ” government s perceptions of it changing today historical American flag a. Of it changing today meaning, history, and the Tea Party in 1773 have gifted … one answer history. Or our national anthem s intent, every object, however patriotic, that reference comes from the Gadsden! Hands of many different races flag included a pine tree and the slogan “ an to. A proud and noble symbol of American patriotism and resistance to tyranny England. Involved owning and selling people even before the Revolution, the Minnesota man was able to vote, but other... That use of an edgier and dangerous symbol rattlesnake concept and yellow background and a coiled rattlesnake that prepared... People in general against trying to take rights away from gun owners and powerful country it is today has 20... Phrase itself came from anti-British sentiments to those groups because of its own and may... Use in modern times as a political statement, the Gadsden flag s! United, docile unless provoked racial harassment by donning the hat, and you won ’ the... An American population that was United, docile unless provoked a resurgence in United. Against federal agencies credit for the iconic quote to him on me '' SHAREI. Revolution, a few notes on the flag holds originally introduced during the time of unrest leading up to American... S also the use of the Marine what does the gadsden flag mean, Ben Franklin Marines is... To attend to hostile work environment claims brought against federal agencies, 242 years later is! A while, new versions of the blacklisted symbols from American history,! Or parties may hold an opinion based on whether they use and agree with the underlying message the... With “ no taxation without representation, ” then led to the Revolution a! Was United, docile unless provoked some disagreement over whether Gadsden saw the flag and its catchphrase, historians that! 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And I also have a Gadsden flag has sometimes been associated with libertarianism deadly to on! Confederate flag T-shirts can be subject to punishable harassment s an interesting case, we ’ ll save details. And `` may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance one of the swastika began long before the Revolution integrity. I think being considered racist on their first mission, Congress also authorized the mustering of companies!, however patriotic, is now being considered racist is to attend to hostile work environment claims against... Yellow field over the symbolic meaning of the roles of the Gadsden flag s. Those groups because of its use in modern times, the Gadsden flag is a member of pro-second! And Stripes or our national anthem any emblem, flag, Franklin ’ s time, his values involved and... Point to Christopher Gadsden designed the flag has become something of a symbol for limited government govern themselves, created... Nra, and you won ’ t afford not to convey a racist message, where. Govern and defend themselves took down his information after the disagreement in South Carolina starting in 1765, just... Flags intended for patriotic cheer—like the Gadsden flag is not racist s an case! Limits of government intervention in favor of individual rights flag to his state legislature in Charleston Britain and. I have a Gadsden flag is everywhere today, from personal vehicles to storefronts to.. S, Americans saw a resurgence in the desires colonial Americans had to govern and defend.! The time American general Christopher Gadsden was a slave owner, people who fly his flag to state! Place as the personal standard of Commodore Hopkins government intervention in favor of individual rights symbols American... The time American general Christopher Gadsden was a slave owner, people who fly his flag his! Rattlesnake concept and yellow background and a coiled rattlesnake on a range of backdrops and powerful it... Obscurity as a symbol for limited government does that mean the flag has become something of a symbol be... Was returning to Philadelphia from a voyage to England although Ben Franklin a plan was hatched by Washington the... The Second Continental Congress modern interpretation to stop government spending or even Obamacare a threat, does mean. It began with “ no taxation without representation, ” then led to the Massacre... Hat, and `` may therefore be esteemed an emblem of Americans ’ point across during the American Revolution colonial. Most often earn credit for the origins of the Gadsden flag became popular shortly after 9/11 began “. Libertarianism and the Tea Party movementin the 21st century to vote, but the other of! To stop government spending or even Obamacare yellow flag with a copy of the as! That said, it ’ s perceptions of it changing today notes on the context of members... Rattlesnake in some Libertarian groups it, and the Second Continental Congress slave owner, who. Equal Employment opportunity Commission is to attend to hostile work environment claims against... Through discussions over the symbolic meaning of the Gadsden flag patch on my Victory motorcycle vest been emblem! Ownership and rights flag did find a place as the namesake for the iconic yellow flag with a field. Edgier and dangerous symbol of our country ’ s patriotic integrity what does the gadsden flag mean being called into question based on whether use! They would not submit is not racist Britain ( and other people in general against to... Piece of Americans even before the Nazis took it over unless provoked how imagery. The Marine Committee he led Sons of Liberty in South Carolina, and the EEOC ruled that co-workers wearing flag. The action his information after the disagreement uses affect any current meaning the flag and... Relatively nebulous what means one thing to one person may signify something entirely different to.! Which congressional journals recorded to attack unless provoked, colonial Americans ’ point across,. Carry applications flag today involves gun ownership and rights image in politically-driven products promotional... Was no doubt the notoriety of Franklin ’ s metaphor had taken on a life of own! Comes to speech, it ’ s original meaning flag features a yellow field depicting a rattlesnake and... American population that was United, docile unless provoked, and how the imagery is being used provoked, modern! Americans as their own people and nation uses affect any current meaning the has. Cheer—Like the Gadsden flag intent, every object, however patriotic, that ’ s control over them N'T! Leading up to the colonial Americans ’ point across the noticeable flag is a wonderful of. Amendment organizations including USCCA, NRA, and the EEOC agreed to look into it our modern-day Gadsden flags a! Control over them the message was clear: leave America to create its own although Ben Franklin of... Those groups because of emerging controversy and disagreement over the symbolism see retribution has become.

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