The Gadsden Flag    (Dont Tread On Me)
by, Mick Lindley  with excerpts from
    The Gadsden flag is named after American general and statesman Christopher Gadsden (1724–1805), who designed it in 1775 during the American Revolution. The timber rattlesnake occurs throughout the area of the original Thirteen Colonies. The American colonies came to identify more with their own communities and the concept of liberty, rather than as vassals of the British empire. Icons that were unique to the Americas became increasingly popular. The rattlesnake, like the bald eagle came to symbolize American ideals and society. By 1775, the snake symbol wasn't just being printed in newspapers. It was appearing all over the colonies, on uniform buttons, paper money, and of course, on banners and flags.
    Rattlesnakes eyes heve no eye-lids and may be esteemed an emblem of vigilance and never begins an attack except to eat, and when once engaged ever surrenders. And is an emblem of courage. Anxious to prevent all pretensions of fighting, the weapons with which nature has furnished are concealed in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal. A rattlesnake  never wounds till she has generously given notice with her rattlers, even to her enemy, and cautioned one against the danger of stepping on her.

    Our brave colonists were defiant of the British "stepping on them". After all they had just left England to get away from this. It is a fitting remembrance of the flag with the brazen words "Dont Tread On Me" and the image of the rattlesnake. As I write this in January of 2016 the government is taking more and more rights away from its citizens. Also our tyrannical president who goes out of office in 1 year ignores the second amendment and is using every trick he can to take our guns away. Like the rattlesnake we just want to be left alone. My philosophy is simple. You leave me alone and I will leave you along. Get a Dont Tread On Me flag today and fly it proudly.
    The rattlesnake symbol was first officially adopted by the Continental Congress in 1778 when it approved the design for the official Seal of the War Office (at that time and for many years thereafter, the War Office was a term associated with the Headquarters of the Army). At the top center of the Seal is a rattlesnake holding a banner which says: "This We'll Defend". According to the US Army's Institute of Heraldry, "'This We'll Defend,' on a scroll held by the rattlesnake is a symbol depicted on some American colonial flags and signifies the Army's constant readiness to defend and preserve the United States. This design of the War Office Seal was carried forward with some minor modifications into the subsequent designs for the War Department's Seal, and the Department of the Army's Seal, Emblem and Flag. As such, the rattlesnake symbol has been in continuous official use by the US Army for over 236 years.