Gadsden Snake Don’t Tread On Me 3d Ugly Christmas Sweater
The timber rattlesnake can be found in the area of the original Thirteen Colonies. Like the bald eagle, part of its significance is that it was unique to the Americas, serving as a means of showing a separate identity from the Old World. Its use as a symbol of the American colonies can be traced back to the publications of Benjamin Franklin. In 1751, he made the first reference to the rattlesnake in a satirical commentary published in his Pennsylvania Gazette. It had been the policy of Parliament to send convicted criminals to the Americas (primarily the Province of Georgia), so Franklin suggested that they thank them by sending rattlesnakes to Britain.
In 1754, during the French and Indian War, Franklin published Join, or Die, a woodcut of a snake cut into eight sections. It represented the colonies, with New England joined together as the head and South Carolina as the tail, following their order along the coast. This was the first political cartoon published in an American newspaper.
In 1774, Paul Revere added Franklin’s iconic cartoon to the nameplate of Isaiah Thomas’s paper, the Massachusetts Spy, depicted there as fighting a British griffin.
In December 1775, Benjamin Franklin published an essay in the Pennsylvania Journal under the pseudonym American Guesser in which he suggested that the rattlesnake was a good symbol for the American spirit.
The rattlesnake symbol was first officially adopted by the Continental Congress in 1778 when it approved the design for the seal of the War Office. At the top center of the seal is a rattlesnake holding a banner that says, “This we’ll defend”. This design of the War Office seal was carried forward—with some minor modifications—into the subsequent designs as well as the Department of the Army’s seal, emblem and flag. As such, some variation of a rattlesnake symbol has been in continuous official use by the US Army for over 243 years.
Other American flags that use a rattlesnake motif include The United Companies of the Train of Artillery of the Town of Providence, the First Navy Jack, and the Culpeper Minutemen flag, among others.
In the 21st century, the Gadsden Flag has been used by the Tea Party movement and has been sometimes been associated with the Patriot movement. In the wake of the Texas Heartbeat Act, the Gadsden Flag has also been adopted by feminists as a symbol of rebellion
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