Don’t Tread on Me – The Gadsden Flag and it’s Meaning

Don’t Tread on Me is a very strong statement in the United States with very deep historical roots. The phrase was written under the image of a rattle snake and emblazoned on a yellow flag. This is known as the Gadsden flag and falls within the historical flags of America.

First Things First!  Where Did it Come From?

You can do an online search and find lots of details about the phrase “dont tread on me” and how it’s connected to the Gadsden Flag and Benjamin Franklin, etc.  Not all the stories or timelines are the same.  Here’s a good overview to give you a really good idea of it’s general history from inception to present day.

The short answer to “where did it come from” is – The War of Independence in the United States (also known as the Revolutionary War) in the 1770’s.  The United States was not actually the United States at all at that time.  It was known as the “American Colonies” ruled by the world’s superpower at the time – Great Britain.  

As the story goes, during late 1775 when the rebellion against the British rule of the colonies was already well underway, the American army (known as the Continental Army) was waiting in Cambridge, Massachusetts under orders from their General George Washington.  At the same time the British were occupying Boston.  The Continental Army was not well-equipped and disease and other hardships were taking their toll on the troops.  This was around the time of the famous battle of Bunker Hill where George Washington’s troops were so low on gun powder that they were ordered not to fire until they saw the “whites of their eyes” because this would mean their enemy was in close range which would increase the odds of hitting their target.

Around that time, an American merchant ship returned to Philadelphia from England with information regarding several British supply ships that were soon to sail for America laden with ammunition and military supplies.  In order to take advantage of a strategic opportunity to capture those supplies and gain an advantage against the British troops, the Continental Congress (U.S. Government at the time) devised a plan to intercept the ships.  The key element in that plan was to create a navy (The Continental Navy).  It was a fledgling navy with just 7 ships, but it was a start.

As part of the grand plan to create and deploy this Navy, Congress authorized the assembly of five companies of Marines.  As it happened, a number of the Marines that enlisted shortly after that were carrying yellow drums bearing the image of a rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike, and bearing the phrase “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Though not portrayed in this painting, the Gadsden Flag was flown on Commodore Hopkins’ flagship The Alfred

So Where Did the Name “Gadsden” Come from and how is it Associated with “Don’t Tread on Me”?

Christoper Gadsden was an American “patriot” or “rebel” depending on which side you were on!  He was a merchant (and yes, like Benjamin Franklin, a slave-owner in South Carolina), a soldier and a politician.  He was an American statesman and Brigadier General in the Continental Army.  At this point in history, Gadsden was a delegate to Congress and was also a member of the Marine Committee.  In addition, he was the commander of the First South Carolina Regiment of the Continental Army.

The Gadsden flag was created by Christopher Gadsden and while other Independence-era symbols came out around the same time as Gadsden’s logo and slogan, none has stood the test of time like this one!   He presented a copy of this flag to his state legislature in Charleston, S.C. and its popularity soon soared!

In 1775 before the departure of the first mission of the American Navy, a copy of the Gadsden flag was given to the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy Commodore Esek Hopkins.  He used it on the mainmast of his ship (the Alfred) as a unique personal standard.

What Does It Mean?

The use of the snake or more specifically the rattlesnake did not happen by chance. The fact is that the eastern diamondback rattlesnake and the timber rattlesnake were both fairly abundant within the colonies. In a satirical article, Benjamin Franklin suggested that the Americas send rattlesnakes to Britain as a response to their sending of convicted criminals to the colonies.  He wanted to establish the rattlesnake as a “mascot” for American colonies because of the qualities it represents.  A quote from Franklin explains:

“She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage.”…”but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal:—Conscious of this, she never wounds til she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of stepping on her.—Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America?”

Benjamin Franklin

Franklin went on to outline to his friend Christopher Gadsden, the qualities of the rattlesnake that he admired as it related to the American struggle for independence:

  • The Rattlesnake is found in no other quarter of the world besides America
  • The rattlesnake also has sharp eyes, and “may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance.
  • 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

In one of America’s earliest political cartoons, Franklin published a picture of a segmented snake to symbolize a divided America.  His point was to admonish all colonial Americans to unite or die.  Whatever one may say of, or think of the symbol of the “don’t tread on me” flag, there is no doubt that its actual origin is 100% pro-revolution and anti-British.  It was conceived of and developed in a totally non-racial context during the revolutionary war.

The Gadsden Flag was intentionally designed not to convey a racist message, but a patriotic one.

HOWEVER, It appears as though the meaning of the flag has changed (and is changing) from a historic symbol of patriotism (and more recently a general expression of personal freedom and God-given individual rights) to something much more insidious and dishonorable.

While many today use the dont tread on me flag as both a tribute to American resilience AND an expression of their own desire to remain free and liberated (much like many people display the Stars and Stripes for the same reason), things started to change in the early 2000’s.  Somehow, the Gadsden Flag became associated with extremism in the “conservative” ranks like various libertarian causes, gun-rights advocates and far-right political groups.   In a word, it was politicized!

Then, to add to the confusion and misrepresentation of the flag, some supporters of some of these groups were accused of being racist.  The critics of those supporters then decided to use the flag itself as a symbol of bigotry and racism.

The symbolism in the flag partnered by the image holds deep meaning. Basically, the “Don’t Tread on Me” phrase combined with the snake ready to strike is a warning. This tells people not to step on or take advantage of the Americans or they will strike.  Unfortunately, it appears that different groups and individuals throughout the country, interpret the symbol to mean a whole lot of other things besides its original intent. 

For example,  in 2014, an African American postal worker submitted an official complaint which made its way to the courts, alleging that he was discriminated against by a co-worker who simply wore a hat with the snake symbol.  Apparently, it was racist in his eyes because in his own words he stated;

“Christopher Gadsden was a slave trader and owner of slaves”

…and so that means his flag (whatever it was meant to mean) is now racist.  We often forget that many “slave owners” did not fit the profile of what we’re told is accurate history in the movies.  Benjamin Franklin himself was a slave owner who treated his servants as family and gave them grace, mercy and opportunity.

Some have said that because some Tea Party backers like the flag, it’s now a symbol of “anti-government overreach, 2nd Amendment enthusiasts”.

This is ABSOLUTELY THE BEST collection of Don’t Tread on Me Patches ever assembled in one place!  Seriously!
BladeHQ Amazon


The use of the snake or more specifically the rattlesnake did not happen by chance. The fact is that the eastern diamondback rattlesnake and the timber rattlesnake were both fairly abundant within the colonies. In a satirical article, Benjamin Franklin suggested that the Americas send rattlesnakes to Britain as a response to their sending of convicted criminals to the colonies.

In one of America’s earliest political cartoons, Franklin published a picture of a segmented snake to symbolize a divided America.  His point was to admonish all colonial Americans to unite or die.  Whatever one may say of, or think of the symbol of the “don’t tread on me” flag, there is no doubt that its actual origin is 100% pro-revolution and anti-British.  It was conceived of and developed in a totally non-racial context during the revolutionary war.

The unfortunate truth is that often, the meaning of symbols is fluid and changing.  Even the much-hated-for-good-reason Nazi Swastika was used in numerous contexts before the conception of the Nazi party.  Believe it or not, it was even used in some official contexts within the American Military!  Among other meanings, it is clear that it is often adopted by those with a general or even vague approval or even outright enthusiasm for the concept of minimal government and freedom of rights for individuals.

Development of the Flag

Currently, there are several variations of this flag but the message remains the same. The following are some of the minor changes that may be found for the Gadsden flag.

  • The typeface can either be serif or sans-serif.
  • The word “Don’t” may be written with or without the apostrophe.
  • The earliest versions of the flag show that the rattlesnake is facing to the left. However, some versions today show that the snake is facing the right.
  • Most representations of the flag dating from 1887 to 1917 show a completely yellow background where the snake is resting. A recent addition, however, is the green grass beneath the snake.
  • Some parts of the United States today have declared the flag unsavory with some uncomforted reports about arrests on people who have the flag on display. Fair recently, the city of New Rochelle, New York have actually removed the flag from their military armory. The reasoning was that the flag is often used by the tea party movement.

Speaking of Don’t Tread on Me!

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tactical pen


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Historical Summary and Use

Upon development, the flag was used by various groups within America. The Continental Marines is one of the most popular groups that used this flag, unfurling it side by side with the Moultrie flag. The United States Navy also utilized an earlier version of the flag.

As mentioned earlier, the first use of this flag was by Commodore Esek Hopkins. He was the first Commander in Chief for the New Continental Fleet. His ships sailed for the first time in the year 1776 on the month of February. It was then shown by Colonel Christopher Gadsden to the Continental Congress.

Today, the flag is being used by the Tea Party Movement (as previously mentioned) – which is why the symbol is currently getting some bad reputation. Still, the rattlesnake is still a powerful image and is actually being used by Nike in support of the US national men’s soccer team. Even the band Metallica has recorded a song entitled “Don’t Tread on Me

In spite of its wide variety of uses and meanings, it’s disheartening to see that even those who collect all types of flags have mostly shied away from flying it (as most collectors like to fly some of their flags on occasion) because it can reflect an ideology or political viewpoint that may offend some!

The crazy thing is that many who are intimidated from displaying the flag, don’t even know who they are offending or why it’s offensive (since it originally spoke of freedom from British domination)!  Yes, it’s gotten that bad!

Why is it Offensive?

In all my research, I still can’t figure out why many otherwise seemingly rational left-leaning liberal or “progressive” citizens of the USA persecute those who fly this flag.  We understand that there have been white supremacist groups who have used the flag as part of their own symbolism, but most rational people can understand that just because a fringe group adopts a national symbol, that is no reason to persecute those who display the symbol (since most who display the symbol probably display it as a symbol portraying its original meaning). 

Can you imagine if every Conservative Republican decided to persecute anyone who displays a photo of a rainbow because it has been adopted by the LGBTQ community?  The rainbow was originally a symbol of a promise given to us by God to never again destroy the earth with a flood.  The symbol has been taken by the gay community to symbolize their lifestyle and agenda which has nothing to do with the original symbolism of the rainbow.  I don’t see widespread denunciations of rainbows in this world by those who oppose the LGBTQ lifestyle!  Can you please return the favor?

My Gadsden Soapbox

In the case of the Gadsden flag, the symbolism is that of American independence and pride, telling England (and any other would-be America-haters) to “lay off – we bite if you screw with our freedom!”  I am not a racist and I appreciate that symbolism.  If you are a Democrat, appreciate a “women’s right to choose”, whole-heartedly celebrate same-sex marriage, really like Hilary Clinton, contemplated moving to Canada when Trump was elected, or otherwise appreciate a left-wing, liberal, progressive social and political agenda, YOU ARE WELCOME HERE AT KNIFEUP!  However, please don’t go off on a tantrum about how everyone who loves America and displays the Gadsden flag as a symbol of our great country is a Trump-loving, woman-hating, immigrant-hating, Nazi-loving, Republican racist.  It’s simply not true and I sincerely believe you know that in your heart.  

Why Is This Important?

The “Don’t Tread on Me” flag is a very important representation of American history. Nowadays, the United States is proud of its freedom – sometimes even stating that it is the freest country in the world.

The Gadsden flag, however, represents the time when America is in the process of fighting for its freedom. Therefore, it is a wonderful symbol of the country’s strength and willpower- leading it to become the world leader it is today. Young Americans will do well to know the impact and underlying meaning of this flag to their history.

If you’re fascinated, or even just a tad bit curious, check out some excellent collector’s items for both flag enthusiasts and freedom proponents HERE!



Peter Stec
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  1. Replies to this article best exemplify how the structure of Western society has been eroded by erred correctness, may that be political, cultural, racial and whatnot. I was staggered by the sensitivities of some individuals who replied to a mostly innocuous piece of writing. Nothing in that article but the reference to the LGBTQI+ community was meant to provoke, and that too is not remotely offensive in itself. That is the detrition I am talking about. Provocation for the purpose of rational argument does not make the argument, or even the means one utilises to get to it, incursive or galling just because the argument or the means may be subject to political or cultural tentativeness. I am a homosexual, (half-)American man who supports (Lincoln’s) Republicanism, and would vote for the Federalists in the days of the Founding Fathers. At the same time I support choice in the matter of abortion to a certain temporal extent, I am a staunch supporter of strict gun control and I oppose the prevalent (today) interpretations of the 2nd, 11th and 14th constitutional amendments. I have been admitted to the bar of the state of New York and been called to the bar by Gray’s Inn (E&W), and consider myself a constructionist in judicial interpretation. Thus the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag is a national symbol with an awesome thrust, it had been restored as the Jack of our Navy for almost two decades now and now the oldest ship of the fleet (USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19)) dons it. It is nothing but a symbol of American pride, regardless of its use by groups who threaten the very core of American values.

    1. I’ll fly my (DON’T TREAD ON ME) flag in my yard till the day I die. I really don’t care if I hear someone say it’s racist or wrong to display it in my yard. It’s American history, and if you think of it as racist please excuse me but you may want to leave my country and never come back. Thanks so much!

  2. “Unfortunately, it appears that different groups and individuals throughout the country, interpret the symbol to mean a whole lot of other things besides its original intent.”

    Why is that unfortunate? You’re a real strict originalist, hmm? Couldn’t get past that, and it’s at the start!

    1. Hey Jerry;

      I’m not really sure what you mean by your comment, or how you “couldn’t get past that”. I’m guessing you do not agree with me, but that’s okay. It’s called “life”. I think you’re mature enough to “get past that” and read the rest of the article if you care about the topic. I’m guessing (though I could be wrong) that you are in favor of abortion, and if so, you and I would be on opposite sides of the issue. However, if you wrote your reasons as to why you think abortion is an awesome thing, I would have no problem reading it (though I would certainly disagree with your conclusion).
      See, it’s not so hard! Thanks for checking out Knifeup!

      Oh, by the way, you asked “why is that unfortunate?” Here’s the answer; It’s unfortunate because many good citizens who would like to celebrate the resilience and resolve of our country’s founding generations, are having their car windows smashed and properties vandalized by displaying the very symbol that shows their patriotism to the FULL United States of America. Is that a decent answer or did I fall woefully short? 🙂


    2. What would Ben Franklin think? He made this symbol when the British were trying to take over. How does this apply to USA, the most powerful nation in the world?

    3. Federalist? It figures judging by your superior speech. Intellect does not trump anything. Wisdom and Prudence in the Lord Jesus Christ does. I would be, Anti-Federalist understand, your liking for men which is sin, but no greater or less than any other sin. And the gun control, again, it figures being a Federalist. Us rural Anti-Federalist need arming against your very words. You won at having the Constitution but we wrote the amendments. Don’t change them, that’s why we wrote the 2nd one.

  3. The flag standing alone is typically not viewed as racist. But when it sits alongside the Confederate rebel flag, CSA flag, Swastika flag, MAGA flag etc. (like many right-wing political rallies nowadays), we know exactly what it is intended.

    1. The MAGA flag is not a white supremacist symbol. white supremacists mostly hate Trump and call him a zionist shill.

    2. Coming in late but as a patriot and a veteran I feel compelled to say:
      Just how fortunate are we that we have the freedom to disagree and discuss? Our fore fathers could not anticipate the complexities of our modern day issues. This flag was not created out of hate. The United States of America was not built on hate. We are in an abyss of “Us vs Them” amongst our neighbors. Literally, the person living next door. Let us not forget that America represents freedom. Freedom to say and act on what you believe, so long as it does not take away your neighbors rights to do the same.
      I have had my Thin Blue Line bumper sticker ripped from my car four times. They have the right to disagree with my support of police officers. They do not have the right to damage my property. My response? I have, at any given time, at least three Thin Blue Line bumper stickers in my car ready to mount. My point being – if you believe in it, stand for it. But stand for it out of respect, not out of hate.
      For those who have negative responses to this flag and to America as a whole, I have good news for you – You don’t have to stay! If you are not happy with your life as an American, go find the happiness you feel is owed to you in another country. And I’ll tell you “God Speed”, because you’ll need it.

  4. I was recently at a survival store and I saw the symbol and I liked it, then a family member made a comment that it was racist in some way. I decided to Google it and just read about it I personally love history and facts are facts. When this flag came out it meant we came Together As Americans. If anyone comes to this country I believe they should act American because we are all Americans. I think that I will not take it off my car even though I’m taking a risk of ignorant people who don’t love or understand the real meaning of American history. I have a bi-racial child so I am anything but racist. I have Jesus in my heart and I love history and I still believe that should you come to this country I do not mind, but I just want people to be American, so if it symbolizes being American and being proud of it I think we should all get a flag out and stick them on our cars and stay true to the fact that it’s okay to change, and America is always going to be changing but let’s remember to love and respect I’m keeping it on my car! Go Marines go Navy hoorah

    1. burn it, along with the stars and stripes. hope this doesn’t offend you too much.

    2. Hooyah Hoorah! Also a Christian, also have a bi-racial family 🙂

    3. I love your reply. My kids are of mixed race as well and I teach them not to hate but to look beyond normal stereotypes. I have the Gadsden license plates on my truck and I’m proud of it. To me it stands for freedom and says don’t tread on my rights. Never as a hate symbol in any way. I have plenty of friends who aren’t Caucasian that have it on there trucks and cars. No big deal!

  5. I do not like the comparison of the LGBTQ+ community. You are comparing them to racists? LGBTQ+ do get persecuted for being gay. In 32 out of 50 states, conversion therapy is legal. In 70 countries, being gay is illegal, and in 9 it is punishable by death. You are not being persecuted for flying a flag. Some people view it as racist, but it is not illegal or punishable by death.

    1. Oh be quiet, I’m not and am not offended by the comparison. He is saying that this flag is literally not offensive just like the rainbow flag for us gays isn’t offensive. If you thinks it’s offensive there is nothing we can do but it is not period.

    2. Stop. It was a great example. No hysteria needed! This is actually the perfect example of people being so sensitive that people end up feeling they have to shut up about everything. This creates anger and that’s why they go and explode. Just stop. You are the ones responsible for the terrible things that happen.

    3. I was thinking the same thing. I’m grateful for the explanation but the example shows the author’s ignorance in this category. I like the original meaning of the flag but that was 200 years ago. Today that flag means White Christian Supremacy. I hope and pray it returns to it’s original meaning.

    4. The Author’s Ignorance? Hmmm… I’m guessing you don’t subscribe to an actual Bible-believing, evangelical true Christian worldview. Am I right? Just using the term “White Christian Supremacy” shows an insanely unveiled bias by JoNna that isn’t even a real “thing”. No actual born again Bible-believing Christian who has given their life to Jesus Christ and committed themselves to Him feels any “supremacy” at all. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Jesus said that to be a true follower of Him, we must show humility and become the “servant of all”. Truth be told, most “believers” (or “Christians” as you would describe us) subscribe to the idea (as I do) that scientifically, there is only ONE RACE – The HUMAN race. The difference in melatonin in your skin and genetic variation we see in Asians, Hispanics, Blacks, etc. is skin deep and superficial. That’s not an attitude of supremacy as I understand it. If you think you know a “Christian Supremacist”, there is approximately a 100% chance (give or take 0%) that person is not a Christian. Of this I could not be more convinced!
      I hope and pray you can soften your rhetoric and your heart 🙂
      Blessings to you,

    5. But that’s the irony here. This flag represents the fight that we (America) put up in order to gain the freedom that we have today – the freedom to be LGBTQ+ without it being illegal or punishable by death. The author never said that gays aren’t persecuted, he was simply drawing a similarity in symbols being adopted for representations other than what they originally meant. And because of that, people are persecuted for flying this flag. Also, whether conversion therapy is truly legal or not, being part of the LGBTQ+ community certainly is legal in America, because we’re free.

    6. Guys I think this “Karen” fits too perfect the meme….

  6. I appreciate your in depth and somewhat fair explanation of the Gadsen flag. I came to your site just after reading the wikipedia article on it and found your thoughts pretty much the same as there. I figure if wikipedia’s pretty good then you are too.

    However, when you characterize left leaning people as persecuting, you’re wrong. Just like being told in a restaurant not to use the f word. That’s not persecution. That is someone else saying to you “hey this offends me”. Now you can keep using the f word, freedom of speech and all that, but if you do you’re just being a jerk. You’re not being persecuted.

    The meaning of symbols change over time. As a southerner I love the battle flag. For me it means hot weather, watermelon, ya’ll, yes sir, no sir, SEC football, grits, cornbread and NASCAR. But, for others, it means racism, slavery, and jim crow. Out of respect for others I don’t fly that flag. And I appreciate the fact that you don’t either.

    Unfortunately the Gadsen flag has ended up in the same situation. Today it seems to be flown as a signifier of affiliation to an ideology that, to me, is abhorrent to the principles that our country was founded on. The idea that you can have a country that IS NOT based on ethnicity. That ANY citizen can rise to the top given that they agree to ideas rather ethnicity.

    Ultimately, because the far right has co-opted this flag, and to some extent co-opted libertarianism. I will not fly this flag. And while I won’t persecute, seeing as how I’m not a prosecutor, I will look askance at those that do.

    1. It is a sad time indeed when people in this country just sit around and poke fingers at one another about race, discrimination and flags that are offensive to some people. It shows how far our country has fallen from its original ideals, and how social media has poisoned and corrupted the minds of the citizens of this country. Ignorance is to blame on the hatred of such beloved historical standards as this flag, the original meaning of its purpose has been washed away by those that have no idea of why it is still important to bear this standard today, to show that we are a country of citizens that will not be controlled by a foreign entity and if our liberty is put to the wire we will fight with the very same passion that won our independence. If you find this offensive or racist you truly need professional help.

    2. The meaning of the flags don’t change just because someone interprets them another way. Educate yourselves on the true origins and meanings and that is what they are, period. Everyone that gets offended soo easily needs to grow up, pull up your big boy/girl pants and act like adults.

    3. Hey Jay;
      I’m on your side. I think it’s stupid that people can hijack the meaning of a flag and somehow tell the rest of us that the meaning has changed. Unfortunately, you can SAY the meaning doesn’t change just because someone interprets it another way, but in reality, if 90% of the population associates a symbol with something other than its original meaning, then the meaning HAS changed. I happen to be an evangelical Christian who knows well the symbolism and meaning of a rainbow. It was God’s promise not to destroy the earth again with water. Unfortunately, if you ask 100 people on the street in New York (or most other large or smaller cities) what the rainbow symbolizes, they’ll tell you it symbolizes the LGBTQ community. Wow – that has NOTHING to do with its original intent, and it does not make me happy.

      However, the world is as it is!

      thanks for the comment,


  7. I don’t see what the problem is, while this flag may be flown by some people who are racist it does not mean that anyone who likes the flag is part of that group. As a Mexican American, I do not see anything wrong with this. It is no different than putting someone in a box because they own a gun for example, or judging someone who doesn’t go to church- this is a free country.

    Putting a label on someone based on an individual belief is both ignorant and unfair to that person. There is already so much division in this country because of extreme thinking and judgment being placed on others.

    We are all Americans and it sure would be nice to see some agreement and less negativity.
    Thanks for your time everybody.

      this flag was placed over the bodies of 2 police officers here in Las Vegas a few years ago. They were slain as they ate lunch in broad daylight. A once proud symbol of America has been hijacked by those who do not have America`s best interest at heart. Two domestic terrorists ambushed the officers and fled to the Wal Mart next door where they killed a concealed carry man who heroically tried to stop them. Both were eventually killed.

  8. I use this flag as a libertarian. “Don’t tread on me” symbolizes for me how the government shouldn’t be stomping on our rights as Americans!

    1. We have had an American flag and a Gadsen flag flying at our home for 3 years. Both were stolen out of their pole supports—poles and all. We let our neighbors know…most were very supportive. It amazes me though, how many people said we “deserved” it because it is a racist flag. FYI, my husband, a firefighter, is a black, hispanic immigrant who became a citizen and now races into homes of people he doesn’t know, regardless of what is hanging on their door. We have replaced both flags. Don’t tread on me is my mantra from now on. Don’t screw with my flags.

    2. It’s crazy how you cannot leave comments on leftist media articles that say this is racist, and its what google servers first. Need google to show more relevant/accurate results. What is happening here?

    3. I’m not sure what you’re saying, but you’re welcome in this forum with any constructive comments/ideas/thoughts!
      Thanks for stopping by,

  9. It’s been co-opted by racists and right wing nut jobs. Lets not eff around or mince words. These people want to tread on minorities. Screw that…anyone who would wear this T shirt would likely be a racist, so the black man was probably correct. It goes in the same category as white people who fly the confederate flag and try to pretend it’s southern pride. They mean southern slavery pride.

    1. Baloney. Ann James aka another entitled, spoiled lily white leftist with a chip on her shoulder. Ya know people like you who scream racism at others are often racists themselves. You immediately mention white people, yep your a racist!

    2. Hi Ann;
      The only catch to your comment is that the only person I know (personally) who flies the Gadsden flag is ME. I also know that I am absolutely NOT a racist. To me, the original meaning of the flag is absolutely a symbol of American pride and patriotism. Even Ben Franklin used the symbol of a snake to stir American pride against the British. I wouldn’t fly the Confederate flag because it represents an ideology and political system that DID exude racism and suppression of Black slaves to do the bidding of their overlords. That is morally wrong, but wanting to be free from political slavery (taxation without representation) is not wrong and I agree with the symbol of a snake bite against England as a declaration of freedom and revolt against a corrupt government.

  10. I have always been a “Don’t Tread On Me” Man, so anyone that disagrees can go to their “cry corner!!”

  11. It’s a flag for Republican chest puffers who make themselves feel better by saying ‘don’t f#@! with me’, even though no one actually is f#@!ing with them.

    1. … except for that whole “we rule over you because we started your pathetic little country” thing from the King of England! Maybe some would see that as the king of England “f#@!ing” with an entire country that would like to have fair representation for their taxes.

      I guess there are always two ways to see lots of issues like the breath of fresh air finally coming from the Alabama legislature dealing with the defining moral issue of our culture, etc. Some see that as a throwback to draconian times and the dark ages and hate for women, while others see it as the first sensible law coming from a heathen culture that values the “rights” of a woman over her own body, but not the rights that a baby has to LIFE itself! Crazy world huh?


    2. Cry more about nothing! Unbelievable! Where are the men these days! I wish we had a few good ones in my area! And don’t as me what a real man is. If you don’t know you have huge problems!

    3. Don’t you know there’s something called “toxic masculinity” that the far Left has come up with? It actually means that if you’re a man, that’s a really bad thing and you need to get over it. You can start by wearing skinny jeans, long hair, speak with a higher voice and incorporate a couple of traditionally more “feminine” characteristics into your mannerisms. Gender blending is all the rage you know!

  12. I often wonder why political affiliation bother to bait people. Religious ideology also sneaks into a conversation and the emotional manipulation takes over rather than an open honest dialogue. The snake cut into pieces also has historical significance in modern times the enemies of freedom and uniting as a people is undermined by choosing sides.

    Standing up for one’s beliefs is easy in an online forum it is when our lives are on the line and the person next to us that the real test occurs.

    Historically many have died for what they believe in and fought sadly the rebel rousers have a pen or a keyboard and when the bodies are cold and those of us stacking the bodies of the enemy and mourning our lost loved ones those pulling the strings are urging us to give or admonish those willing to die.

    Survival is for the sheep those in sheep’s clothing are the ones that need to have a reckoning. The Iranian hackers and foreign polititical activists that do not live here and feed the people their ideals while living under a regime of terror with a grip on the throat of those that dare dream to one day live free.

  13. I was born from the town of Swastika, (yup Google it) and yet And I don’t hate anyone. One man’s flag is another man’s insult. I have a Gadsden flag on my gun cabinet.

    1. Your freedom isn’t free. It cost the blood of many soldiers, so don’t take it for granted. If it wasn’t for patriots dying you would be in slavery for the worse.

  14. I have a sign on my truck which reads HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL . GOT THE MESSAGE?

    1. No, what’s the message. Gun for hire? Redneck? Pseudo tough guy?

  15. Damn Yankees also put out a song called “Don’t Tread on Me” in 1992.
    Like this version much better than Metallica’s.

  16. Kristiana Jourgensen. Utopia idea is unrealistic & naive. You’re an idiot for someone who thinks she knows so much.

  17. I am so proud of our founding fathers standing up against tyrannical England, but not the way we treated American Indians later.

    1. Barbara “WE”?! Really?!? Are YOU and I responsible for the fighting that was going on between men all over the world 400 years later?!?! Really?!?! All lands were conquered at that time Europe, Asia, the Middle East. If you are feeling guilty about one particular war 400 years later stop! Release the horrible guilt the American media has brainwashed you with! Throw it out you are a great person!!!!

  18. As long as you don’t screw with me, I won’t screw with you. Leave me be and I will leave you be. If I’m really that terrible, then fight me coward. But right now, I have no quarrel with you so shut it and leave me in peace.

  19. Anissa, the money quote is misstated. It is “for the love of money” There is nothing wrong with money or having money just don’t love it above all else.

  20. Dear Kristina, I am a Republican and proud of it.
    I am not in favor of the public money going to big business, I therefore am behind the idea that public monies should go directly to the ones who do need it, if they need help then help them, if they need small capital to grow their mom and pop shop then so be it and that means for anyone without regard to race, creed or religion.
    I however am also a prepper and I read a lot about how the government is failing it’s people and country.
    This government is doomed to fail, it may not happen in my time or my children’s time but they will be ready if it does and it’s for this very reason I fly the Gadsden Flag and tell anyone who asks about its history and what it truly stands for is our freedoms, not for the freedom’s that our government gives but rather the laws of our dear saviour Jesus Christ who God gave to take our sins and physically die for so we may get a chance so that he was not put on that cross in vain.
    I could go on but I wanted to say to you and anyone who would read my statements that I believe that we as a people are generally good at heart but let our minds go sour with the ones who made them that way, yep our government the ones we hired to basically screw us over, but alas even some of those are good.
    I thank you for your time.


  21. The only way to get rid of the greed and hatred is by being born again.
    Take off the fallen nature of man and put on the new man Jesus Christ.

    Remember, humans comming together can’t bring about peace and solve the problems in their own power…remember the tower of Babel. Also the New Testament says “Our righteousness is as filthy rags:.

    Only by confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believing God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”

    Remember again new Testament many In that day will call out Lord Lord didn’t we prophesy in your name ? But Jesus says, depart you you woke of iniquity. I never knew you.”

    There should not be mega churches. We should have people really willing to serve Jesus. Jesus usually preached on the road, on a small hill, on the beach. Jesus wouldn’t let people starve while living in a mansion or wearing luxurious robes with all kinds of jewelry. In fact Jesus says if you are out and about and someone asks for your cloak, give him your coat ALSO.
    Have a good day

    1. Does this have anything to do with the flag and don’t tread on me idea? No, but I happen to agree with Debra so I’ll let it go.

    2. Pastors are some of the greediest people out there, and far too many christians are extremely hateful. Plus, there is no biblical basis for being “born again”.

    3. Hi;
      Any “pastor” or “Christian” who is, in reality, greedy or hateful, is absolutely NOT a Christian at all. The Bible is filled with references to the huge number of people in this world who THINK they are Christians, but they are greedy, racist, hateful, idolatrous, sexually immoral, etc. None of them has the spirit of God living in them and none are headed to an eternity in Heaven. That would include about 98% of Americans who claim to be “Christians”. They are absolutely not (that’s not even just my opinion – it’s an absolute fact if the Bible is right). Those are the people you are using as your examples – very bad examples.
      As for the born again comment, that’s just wrong. Read John 3:3 – “unless a man is born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven”
      Just my lil’ ol’ thoughts.

    4. I agree wholeheartedly. Can you imagine what this world would be like if everyone practiced The Golden Rule? I’m ready for the Rapture of God’s church (that’s US), and I hope everyone else that needs to cries out to God for salvation, so we can all live happily ever after in heaven! God bless you, sister.

  22. Like your comment. Liked the history of the flag…very interesting. That is one of the major problems with Millinams…no history of America being taught in schools anymore. Americans taking so much for granted. Totally support mandatory service for youth in America to serve 2 years in foreign countries to see how blessed Americans are.

  23. I wish this highly “educated” country full of dum asses could read and understand what you have written here …! You need to run for President !!!

  24. Kristiana–In other words you believe in a Utopia….. Will never happen; so you divise a system that will do the most good for the most people. Capitalism has done more good for more people that any other system throughout the history of mankind. Your Utopia is a pipe dream. Get real. Capitalism isn’t perfect, but nothing is.

  25. Kristiana Jourgensen, I couldn’t agree with you more. I certainly don’t know as much as you do. However, I choose not to vote. I never have, never will. Politics to me equals Same shit, Different Shovels/Different Puppets, Same Agenda. It seems to me everything narrows down to the ROOT OF ALL EVIL, MONEY!!! GREED and POWER. It sickens me how cruel people are to one another. Looking out for themselves more often than not. So greedy, gluttons, liars, etc. We’re fkn fools. Like we are practicing the seven deadly sins daily instead of the Ten Commandments!!! I seriously Pray for His Kingdom to Come and His Will to Be Done Already in a World so full of fkn hate and despair. Honestly I see the World as a Nightmarish Shitstorm and I’m kinda hoping for a REVELATION TRUTHFULLY!!!✌❤

  26. How u know that isnt 999, actully looks more like a 9 2 2 to me

  27. DONT TREAD ON ME is a momentous movement that’s coming back. America will now strike if taken advantage of. Fed-up of hand outs in lieu of a hand up .

  28. This flag is the background on my car’s license plate. While I was at a social event someone tried to paint me into a corner and embarrass me in front of others by asking me if I was a member of the Tea Party after she had seen the plate. I said I wasn’t aware that the TP used it (I’m not a member of it either). I said I have the plate because I want to warn others not to tread on my rights as a US citizen and to encourage US citizens to do the same. Also I like tapping into the history of the flag. Isn’t it wonderful how some people don’t bother to research something they don’t know about and assume instead that you are their enemy because they are ignorant and uneducated!

  29. Boots on the ground and readying for whats to come the price of freedom is eternal vigilance

    1. Boots on the ground, and our own patriots’ blood flowing even for bogus wars and lies?

  30. Hello all in light of the ominous threats to this nation in place I would think that this should unite all people against the many threats against this country as the following: sleeper cells in place and now the open borders that are seeping in (the refugees) which are clearly a Trojan horse ready to strike this country. “Don’t tread on Me” has a very poignant and authentic sound to it. We the people are being tread upon and we should place the proper meaning to this flag. Boots to the ground and fight the enemy from within and out.

  31. So, because the tea party is using it, it’s gaining a bad reputation? It couldn’t be more horrible if the liberalist and democrats were using it.

    1. Yes, because you people are so much quicker to resort to insults and ad hominem attacks than we are. We “liberalists” (whatever that means) prefer that all people are allowed to live in freedom rather than just the anointed few that your “conservativist” views tend to espouse.

      (sorry if I used too many complex words in there)

    2. Funny how you just resorted to an insult at the end there. Totally negating your entire unsolicited, and now hypocritical, retort. You just couldn’t resist, huh?

    3. “Whatever that means” wow to proclaim “us” as something you lack in true understanding shows the ignorance that you are a part of and clearly attempting to breed with your hate. Hillary for Prison!

    4. Exactly. The TP has appropriated the Gadsen flag to divide Americans, to distort our collective strength, and not to unite as one people. The TP has promoted the Gadsen flag as a directive to fracture U.S. society into ethnic, racial, and all groups of otherness that don’t serve whiteness. You bet that’s what it does.

    5. You should know Tea stands for taxed enough already. The whole divide, fracture,racial thing you just spewed is complete nonsense. I’m a Tea guy and a libertarian. Basically, you do your thing, I’ll do my thing, and the laws should apply the same to all of us. And giving $800 million to some bundlers who claim they are a green company when in fact they don’t do anything but steal taxpayers money is not OK. And making welfare system that makes you better off staying on it then working is not OK. Or having a system that uses racial quotas rather than merit for everything from education admissions to choosing our firefighters is not OK.

  32. Dang dude, that was a great reply! good one.I’m glad I took that shot in the dark asking you.Your word’s was on the spot aim to my believe about God and his righteousness and religions arrogant defiance to the bible and God’s instructions in it…even in blaten mocking. It so angers me sometimes, that they,in God’s name, but for their gain, leads away good people from God. I’m beginning to reason to your level. I’m beginning to hate it. AND Ya, lol, there seems to be a fixation for people looking for demons under every rock. I was reading on how ridiculous about the post of 666 being on a flag. I read your reply to him, I laughed so hard I had to read it to everyone in the room.

    1. ehhhh I’m not sold on that being intentional. I think it’s more probable that you’re making something out of nothing.

    2. some people look for demons under every rock

    3. speaking of demons… al ,you hate religion. I can sorta concur, tho do you hate God ? just curious. cause I live for Him tho not religions

    4. Do I hate God-I hope not if that were true then I’ve been working for the wrong team. I’ve been a proclaimer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for over 23+ years.

      I’m just not a fan of man-made doctrine-I rather rely on what we have in the infallible Word of our most gracious God!

      I just think it’s interesting how many of us never tire from looking for gremlins rather than using that energy sharing the life saving message of the Messiah.

      I’m happy to hear you live for Him-glad we belong to the same team-all Glory and Honor to HIM.

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