Don’t Tread On Me Flag History

Don’t Tread On Me Flag History

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The Designer

The Don’t Tread On Me flag is named after a politician named Christopher Gadsden, who designed it in 1775 during the American Revolution. He represented his home state of South Carolina and was one of seven members of the Marine Committee on the first naval mission.

This flag was used early on by the Continental Marines as a motto flag. The first Marines enlisted in Philadelphia and carried drums painted yellow with a coiled rattlesnake that had 13 rattles along with the words of ‘Don’t Tread on Me.’ The flag was a warning to Great Britain not to trample the liberties of people.

What Does The Flag Represent?

On the flag, you’ll see a timber rattlesnake, which can be found in the areas of the original thirteen colonies. The design of it is meant to be an assertive warning of vigilance and willingness to act in defense against threats.

It has been associated with ideas of individualism and liberty and often used in the United States as a symbol for liberalism, small government, and distrust or defiance against authorities. For historical reasons, the Gadsden flag is still popularly flown in Charleston, South Carolina, the city where Christopher Gadsden first presented the flag.

don't tread on me flag

Did You Know??

  • The rattlesnake has sharp looking eyes, making it an emblem of vigilance
  • Rattlesnakes don’t usually begin an attack unless provoked, making it a sign of courage
  • The Gadsden flag has become a popular specialty license plate in several states
  • Christopher Gadsden was often called ‘the Sam Adams of the South’

don't tread on me flag

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What does the Don’t Tread on Me flag stand for?

‘Don’t Tread On Me’ is an expression of freedom and liberty that first originated on the Gadsden Flag, depicting a coiled Rattlesnake getting ready to attack, and used as a cry for independence for the American Colonies when fighting the British.May 29, 2022

Where does the Don’t Tread on Me flag come from?

In 1775, as the American Revolution began, South Carolina politician Christopher Gadsden expanded on Franklin’s idea, and possibly the red-and-white flag as well, when he created the yellow flag with a coiled rattler and the same phrase: “Don’t Tread On Me.

What does it mean to tread on someone?

to do something that upsets or offends someone


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