The Gadsden Flag History: Don't Tread On Me and the Gadsden Flag Meaning
On this episode of the Resistance Library Podcast, Sam and Dave discus the history of the Gadsden Flag and its meaning.
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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.
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