Origins of the Gadsden Flag


The Gadsden Flag is a well-known symbol of American history that has become an emblem of American independence and freedom. The flag, with its distinctive yellow background, depicts a coiled rattlesnake with the words "Don't Tread on Me" written underneath. The Gadsden Flag has a long and interesting history that dates back to the American Revolution.


The flag is named after Christopher Gadsden, a statesman from South Carolina who was a delegate to the Continental Congress. In 1775, Gadsden presented the design of the flag to the Provincial Congress in Charleston, South Carolina. The design was based on a warning issued by Benjamin Franklin, who had suggested that the rattlesnake was a good symbol for the American colonies, as it was known for its ability to defend itself when threatened.


The Gadsden Flag quickly gained popularity among the American colonists and was flown on ships, buildings, and other public places. It was used as a symbol of defiance against the British government and their attempts to impose their will on the colonies. The flag was also used by the Continental Marines, who were established in 1775 and served as the precursor to the United States Marine Corps.

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During the Revolutionary War, the Gadsden Flag became a powerful symbol of American independence and resistance. The coiled rattlesnake, ready to strike, was seen as a symbol of the American colonies' readiness to defend themselves against British aggression. The flag was flown at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 and was carried by the Continental Army during the invasion of Canada in 1775.


After the Revolutionary War, the Gadsden Flag fell out of use for a time, but it was revived during the Civil War. It was used by the Confederate States of America as a symbol of resistance to the Union Army. In recent years, the Gadsden Flag has become a popular symbol of the libertarian movement in the United States, and it is often flown at rallies and protests.

The Gadsden Flag is an important part of American history and remains a symbol of American independence, freedom, and resistance. Its powerful imagery and message have inspired generations of Americans to stand up for their rights and defend their freedoms.


  • "The Gadsden Flag and Its Meaning" by Christopher R. Gabel, published in the U.S. Army's Military Review journal, March-April 2006.
  • "The Gadsden Flag: A Symbol of the American Revolution" by David R. Williams, published on the website of the American Battlefield Trust.
  • "The Gadsden Flag: A Historical Perspective" by Mark P. Donnelly and Daniel Diehl, published on the website of the Sons of Liberty Museum.


Mark Stone
American Citizens Defense

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