Monday, September 19, 2016

The Gadsden Flag: Don't Tread On Me

Gadsden Flag Don't Tread On Me
Article courtesy of Sam Jacobs,*
“the most common symbol displayed by right-wing terrorist organizations.”
It’s hard to miss the Gadsden Flag these days. Although it sprung back into popular American consciousness when the Tea Party first got its legs, this is a flag with a long and storied history. In fact, the flag is older than the United States itself.

Back in 1751, Benjamin Franklin designed and published America’s first political cartoon. Called “Join Or Die,” it featured a generic snake cut into 13 parts. The imagery was clear: join together or be destroyed by British power. But why a snake? Around this time, Great Britain was sending criminals over to the colonies. Franklin once quipped that the colonists should thank them by sending over shipments of rattlesnakes. As American identity grew, so did an affinity for American (as opposed to British) symbols. Bald eagles, Native Americans and the American timber rattlesnake – the snake depicted on the flag.

By the time 1775 rolled around, the rattlesnake was an immensely popular symbol of America. It could be found throughout the 13 colonies on everything from buttons and badges to paper money and flags. No longer was the snake cut into pieces. It was now recognizably the American timber rattlesnake, coiled into an attack position with 13 rattles on its tail.

Read the entire article, here;

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