Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Symbol...

I was listening to a Raleigh, NC talk radio show last Thursday (Bill LuMaye on WPTF) as Bill and a woman caller discussed the Raleigh Tea Party. The lady said that "we" needed some kind of "symbol" so that other like-minded folks could identify kindred spirits.

Friends and neighbors...we've got one:

Image courtesy of Chris Whitten

Dating back to 1775, the coiled rattlesnake on a yellow background has stood for resistance to tyranny. It is thought that Benjamin Franklin saw the emblem painted on drums carried by American Marines and, writing as "An American Guesser", observed that the rattlesnake is found in "no other quarter of the world besides America" and that the rattlesnake also has sharp eyes and "may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance".

But Franklin's name isn't attached to the flag which bears the rattlesnake emblem. That is reserved for Christopher Gadsden, a leader of the Sons of Liberty in South Carolina who was later made a Colonel in the Continental Army. Being in Philadelphia in 1775 representing his home state in the Continental Congress, he could have read "American Guesser's" musings and might have seen the emblem on the drums of the Marines. In any event, the coiled rattlesnake on a yellow background is know as the "Gadsden Flag".

Now there are numerous places you can purchase Gadsden Flags on the web. Ruffin Flag Company in South Carolina is one that I've used before but there seems to be a problem with their web site. There is also, For stickers and magnets try Gadsden and Culpeper.

There are folks out there coming up with wonderful new emblems for this "take back America" movement, the upside down teapot being one of the best I've seen so far. But being the history nut that I am (along with being a "Right Wing Extremist"), I'm in favor of using something that has meant the same thing for better than 300 years: Leave me ALONE!


  1. Yay!

    According to this report:

    ...that flag makes us a Rightwing Extremist site!

    Not that DHS didn't think so, anyway.

    - MD

  2. So, should we create the bumper sticker:

    Proud to be a Right-Wing Extremist!

    Or would that be putting TOO big a target on our backs?


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